WOW What A Drink

Dr. Marrissa Dick | July 16th, 2018
The WOW What A Drink Team (Photos by Howard Gaither)

The WOW What A Drink Team (Photos by Howard Gaither)

What do you do when you have a Malachi 3:10 experience and the windows of heaven open and God starts throwing lemons and coffee beans at you? You catch the lemons and make anointed lemonade, use the beans to make premier coffee and open the first African American juice and coffee shop in Greensboro, NC. That’s what you do. Meet Erika, Kim, Brian, and Elliott proud owners of WOW What A Drink, LLC and Café Revolution.

When God is ready for your season to begin He will make the crooked path straight despite what others may believe. Erika shares, “We actually started making drinks back in 2010. We always wanted to participate in NC A&T’s Homecoming. I called the City of Greensboro to get a vendor license and the gentlemen said, ‘tell me what you’re selling?’ so literally just off the tops of our heads we thought of different types of lemonades and teas. Now understand we had never made or tasted any of these drinks before but that’s what came to us so that’s what we told him. He said he didn’t think we were going to make any money, but we got our license. From Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday we made $5,000! I called him back and I said well you’re right we didn’t “make” any money but we did make this amount and he laughed and congratulated us.” So, we realize that God does have a funny sense of humor but it’s always good when the joke is on someone else.

This family’s story runs parallel with the 1989 movie, Field of Dreams. You know where Kevin Costner hears a voice whispering, “If you build it, he will come” while he’s walking through his corn field. Costner goes through great lengths to understand what he’s hearing and wonders if he should step out on faith and adhere to the instructions. Thank goodness Brian listened to what God whispered to him, “If you taste it, you will buy it” and people have been doing just that ever since. Erika shares, “So my brother came up with this slogan, ‘If you taste it, you will buy it’ and that is the slogan we use to get people to try our product and it works!” Since that first vending opportunity WOW What A Drink has been selling their special lemonades and teas locally and they regularly travel from the East Coast of North Carolina to South Carolina and Georgia. Currently, their drink menu consists of strawberry lemonade, passion fruit lemonade, fresh squeezed lemonade, blackberry lemonade, mango tea, southern tea, peach tea, blueberry basil tea, and orange pineapple tea. You can also customize and sample any of these drinks. The family is proud of the fact that they “don’t use any powder, corn syrup or extra additives.” Their drinks are organic because they puree fresh fruits and utilize other natural secret and exotic blends to make up their unique drinks. I can assure you that I was literally WOW’d by these drinks as Brian shared delicious samples. I honestly couldn’t choose a favorite as each one easily stood distinctly on its own merit. These drinks are authentic in every way. I guess the customers will just have to taste and see the goodness of WOW What A Drink and make up their minds for themselves.

When God has a divine plan for you nothing can stop it from happening. Literally this family clearly understands what the devil meant for your bad God means for your good. Erika shares, “In 2016 we were asked to come to the Revolution Mill, so we started attending all of the meetings with different architects and engineers, so we could have our space tailored to our specifications. Then when it was time to occupy the space in June we didn’t hear back from anybody. So, I called and was informed that that another vendor had already moved in the space because they “heard” we didn’t want it and that wasn’t true. So, we came over here and everything was already painted, and the signage had already been done all without our knowledge, but our money had been utilized to purchase the equipment. So that shop owner offered to sell our product, but we were against it. So, we just said give us our money back but instead of that happening we were offered a small section of the space and we just made it work. After a while everything that could have gone wrong for him did and before we knew it he just gave us the entire space that really belonged to us anyway. We didn’t act out while we were in the situation we showed our Christian side and we let God fight that battle and of course He always wins in the end. I mean he paid for everything to be repainted the way we wanted it even down to our signage and he taught us how to make the coffee, too. The Bible says that your blessings will come after you and they will over take you. All of this was just placed in our lap. We didn’t have to fight for it or ask for anything. We were happy with doing our juices, but God said no I’m going to give you this whole space and you’re going to make coffee too.”

Talk about a Luke 20:43 experience, “until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” Already firm in their beliefs that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance they knew that they would continue to be challenged in their blessings and they were. Since being at the Revolution Mill they have experienced some racism but they leave that in the hands of the Lord, too. They already knew being the first African American Juice and Coffee shop in Greensboro would foster some ill will. Instead, they focused their energies on supporting their community by purchasing their grab and go products through their local Resonance store off Phillips Avenue. They sell fresh bagels, muffins, and salads. Shop owners can go downstairs and purchase healthy snacks and drinks then go back to their office. I had the opportunity to taste Brian’s Redeye (dark roast with a shot of expresso). Not only was it the best I’ve ever tasted but I had energy to last for the rest of the day. Consumers would find it even more pleasurable to support this establishment because they are going to be greeted by professional and friendly staff who possess an abundance of personality.

Café Revolution offers much more than a family-oriented environment. They have teamed with other shop owners such as Natty Greens and the Revolution Mill to host a Second Saturday event where all local vendors can sell their products. Kim shares, “We envisioned our Second Saturday at Café Revolution as a way for the community to come out and not only see what we’re all about, but for them to learn about what the local citizens are out here doing, too. You know Greensboro has so many creative and talented people living here. We welcome the clothing vendors, the jewelry vendors, the homemade soap vendors, and the bakery vendors. We also want to invite the Yanceyville Farmers Market vendors to come and finish selling their produce and their crafts because we vend until 6:00 p.m. So, working collaboratively is a win-win situation because this gives everybody a platform for success. We’re also trying to change the way the community sees the facility. There’s a lot of people who know this place has been remodeled, but they don’t really know what’s in here so what we’re trying to do is have them come and see for themselves.”

Despite some pushback from shop owners at the Mill, Erika shares that, “the owners have been really good to us and have blessed us in so many ways because they want us to be successful. I mean when you have people asking you what else can they do to help you it makes all the other negative words, comments, and experiences insignificant. When I tell you, we’ve watched God move and we have seen Him in operation here. I mean who knew that what happened at Starbucks would be the impetus for us to open our own coffee and juice shop? When you patronize us, you can feel comfortable in knowing that you’re wanted here. You can catch-up on the news with our HD televisions, you can charge your phone, use the Wi-Fi and enjoy the comfortable atmosphere. Café Revolution is a wonderful place to be.”

So why should you drive past other coffee and juice shops to support Café Revolution? Kim reminds us that, “We’re different from the traditional juice or coffee shops because our atmosphere is more intimate and family oriented. We even offer a game room for the children. Here at Café Revolution we cater to customizing your drink for you. If you want to add a touch of almond or soy milk to this or that you can. Of course, we offer the traditional drinks too. Other shops are only going to give you what’s on their menu. We just have an opportunity to do it a little bit different here.”
WOW What A Drink, LLC and Café Revolution are minority owned family-oriented businesses located on the lower-level of the Revolution Mill

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