Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Francesca Chaney
This 22-Year Old Founded An Affordable Vegan Restaurant In Brooklyn
Francesca Chaney was born in Hollis, a neighborhood in New York City’s Queens. The 22-year old lives in Brooklyn where she runs her vegan restaurant, Sol Sips. We spoke with her via email about her business and why it was important to establish a vegan spot in Brooklyn.
Travel Noire: How did the idea of Sol Sips come about?
Francesca: Sol Sips started as my self-care remedy that helped me stay healthy while balancing being a full-time undergrad and working three jobs. It started in my kitchen as herbal teas, fresh juices, nut milk and smoothies. Eventually, my family and friends encouraged me to turn it into a business after they’d experienced the benefits of the drinks for themselves. We got up and running by vending the drinks at pop-ups and festivals in the summer of 2015. We opened our brick and mortar in Bushwick in December of 2017, where we currently serve plant-based food and drinks.
TN: Why was it important to create a place for your community to access healthy foods?
Francesca: It’s my deepest belief that vitality is our birthright. We should all have access to resources that make us feel nourished, lifted, and energized as we navigate our experiences in this world. Creating this all-inclusive, wellness-centered restaurant is rooted in this belief.
TN: Tell us about Sliding Scale Brunch?
Francesca: Sliding Scale Brunch is an initiative that we put together to feed more people. Every Saturday anyone can walk in and pay what they can afford (between $7-$15) for a full plant-based meal and beverage. As a person that grew up struggling to find healthy food, I understand the necessity of having access to a healthy meal. Our patrons are very supportive of Sliding Scale Brunch; it’s our busiest day of the week.
TN: What other cool things is Sol Sips Doing?
Francesca: Sol Sips has a cool partnership with Kings Brook hospital offering free cooking classes for the East Flatbush community. We also have a paid internship program for young people of color from Bushwick, East New York and Brownsville, here in Brooklyn. Outside of our community outreach, we curate a quarterly “Midnight Brunch” party with DJs and live music from some of our favorite artists!