Cocoapreneur PGH Black Business Relief Fund | Grantee Q&A with Live Fresh Cold Pressed Juice + Smoothie BarLeave a Comment
The mission of Cocoapreneur is to foster an environment of economic prosperity in order to ensure more sustainable neighborhoods for the historically African American communities and neighborhoods around Pittsburgh, PA. Through support to businesses via advertising, marketing and consulting, Cocoapreneur aims to normalize the idea of entrepreneurship and make becoming a business owner a more feasible and attainable goal for African Americans in the greater Pittsburgh area.
In response to COVID-19 and increased discussion around race-based disparities in America, Cocoapreneur PGH created the Cocoapreneur Collaborative as another pathway to fulfilling their mission. Aiming to address more social needs of the Black business community, the fund is meant to provide relief and aid to Black owned businesses and Black initiatives that aren’t able to get funding and support through other means. It was initially created to assist businesses that were vandalized after the George Floyd protests in Pittsburgh in May 2020, but has extended its reach to help others facing challenges because of COVID-19, as well. To date, the fund has provided over $50,000 to businesses in the Pittsburgh area!
As part of Cocoapreneur’s 2020 Healthy Neighborhood Awardee highlight week, we will be spotlighting some of the amazing businesses that received mini grants from Cocoapreneur for everything from new equipment, to salaries, to scholarships for youth programs!
Here’s a Q&A with co-owners Catey and Brett.
Tell us about yourself and about your business.
“Live Fresh Cold Pressed Juice + Smoothie Bar was founded by Homestead native Brett Gilliam in 2019. Owned and operated by Brett and Co-Owner, Catey Burget, Live Fresh looks to bring an energizing and refreshing spin on health and wellness to the people of Homestead. Live Fresh offers 100% natural and 100% tasty Cold Pressed Juices, Fresh Fruit Smoothies, signature Açaí + Smoothie Bowls, and Juice Cleanses, and a bright, fresh, and invigorating space for all.”
What inspired you to start your business?
“The need for healthy food options within my community. Being born and raised in Homestead, but venturing to the DC area post-college, opened my eyes to truly realize how many opportunities to educate and provide affordable healthy options exist within our communities here in Pittsburgh, and especially in Homestead.”
How did COVID-19 affect your business?
“Fortunately, many of our customers have become even more health conscious than they already were and we’ve also been able to gain a lot of new customers that carry the same attention and priority for their health. While it was difficult for us to close our doors from March through June, we were still able to leverage our online ordering which offers curbside pickup and delivery. Since we’ve reopened the store in June, we’ve continued to engage with new customers and put an even greater emphasis on educating any customer that interacts with the Live Fresh brand.”
What does receiving Cocoapreneur’s mini grant mean to you?
“Cocoapreneur’s mini grant means everything to us. Through the help of this grant, we were able to maintain and pay our staff, many of which reside in the Homestead area.”
Learn more about Live Fresh at livefreshjuicery.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.