Francesca “Sol” Chaney is the founder of Sol Sips, a vegan restaurant in Brooklyn, NYC, with a focus on accessibility and affordability.
“The menu is based on my personal background in wellness and health, and the healing properties of foods,” she explained, as reported by Specialty Food. “I wanted to feature foods that were filling, but healthy, and only used four ingredients or fewer.”
She founded Sol Sips when she was 21 years old. As a full-time student with three jobs, she noticed that it was difficult to find affordable, healthy food on the go. At first, she made juices and snacks for her friends and family. Then, she realised that the community had a need for a judgement-free place for those who had been “shut out” of the wellness industry.
“I guess there was this assumption that I was doing this to be a hero or something,” she told ELLE. “[But] it was for me first and foremost. Then it extended to community because just living in East New York in high school… and knowing that there were not options for me to have a healthy vegetarian meal outside of my home… just because the option isn’t there doesn’t mean that we’re not seeking the option.”
Sol Sips started as a pressed juice bar. Now, it’s expanded to a restaurant and café with a healthy, flavorful, plant-based menu. On Saturdays, a sliding scale brunch is available for $7–$15, further ensuring the affordability of the establishment.
In addition to her work at the restaurant, Francesca has also worked at Life Wellness Center and Brooklyn Perinatal Network. She has a bachelor’s in anthropology from the City University of New York–Brooklyn College.
She was listed in Speciality Food’s 12 under 35 and has been featured in ELLE, Black Entreprise, The Rachael Ray Show, Business Insider, ESSENCE, Eater, and Blavity.Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, food and drink, plant-based, restaurants