On MLK Day, family-owned business gives back to families in their community

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The first year of running a new business is hard enough, let alone during a pandemic. It’s what forced many companies to close their doors.

However, the family that owns Smoothie Stop in Virginia Beach is crediting the community for helping them stay afloat.

Monday marked the one-year anniversary of Smoothie Stop opening their location in Virginia Beach. They say they want to celebrate that, but also want to give back to the community that helped keep the business on its feet through the pandemic.

“Six weeks after we opened, COVID-19 pandemic struck and we immediately went into a contingency plan to figure out the best way to survive,” said Smoothie Stop owner Chris Taylor.

Chris Taylor said that meant shutting down their doors and their only source of income for several weeks.

“It’s been a challenging year, but the support from the community has been there for us and we are thankful for that,” he said.

Once they reopened in April, things were different. For one, they adopted a delivery service that served the Indian Lakes Apartments frequently.

“Being that we are small, some of those deliveries I made myself and so we are very familiar with that community,” said Chris Taylor.

So, when they heard about the devastating fire that displaced several families, they decided they had to also help. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s passion for service, they’ve created a new smoothie called Unity, with proceeds going to the American Red Cross to help those families.

“Looking at the atmosphere of the country right now, it’s a great time to bring unity because we are one. We are the human race. It’s not white, Black, Asian — it’s the human race. So, to have something that we can promote that unity that brings us together as a nation — as companies, as businesses — as we press for through this pandemic,” said co-owner Kim Taylor.

In the smoothie are healthy ingredients to better customers’ health — and, hopefully, ingredients to also help better the community.

“It’s important that we support those individuals that supported us during this challenging year,” said Chris Taylor.

The Unity smoothie was, of course, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but if you were not able to make it out for anniversary events on Monday, no worries. You can always stop in, and as long as you mention the Unity smoothie, they will make it for you.

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