Smoothie Operator: Unbiased Blender Bringing Healthier Foodstuff To The Streets

NEW ORLEANS — Good food and music are staples of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Unfortunately, that meals usually arrives in the type of seafood, gumbo, jambalaya, king cake and beignets — goods that make your taste buds happy and your waistline grow.

Nevertheless, 5th Ward indigenous Domonique “Dinero” Meyers presents a delicious alternative to the city’s popular, but sometimes greasy fare. His Ascent Blends brand name of organic and natural smoothies had a modest start off on the sidewalks of New Orleans, just a blender and organic fruits.

His initiatives at nutritious residing didn’t go unnoticed — he just lately secured a distribution offer with Rouses Markets that will before long see his smoothies and ginger photographs on its retail store shelves. (Rouses started in Houma, Louisiana, much more than 40 several years back and is one of the biggest unbiased grocers in the U.S.)

Meyers — who prefers to go by Dinero — understands that health and fitness is wealth and hopes his Ascent Blends will develop a much healthier city. He just lately talked with Zenger Information about the achievements of his company, how the Rouses offer came to fruition and considerably far more.

Percy Crawford interviewed Domonique “Dinero” Meyers for Zenger Information.


Dinero accomplishing 1 of his exercises. (Courtesy of Dinero Meyers)

Zenger: Notify us about the name of your enterprise and the mission behind it. 

Dinero: It is Ascent Blends every thing is handcrafted, built contemporary every day. We’re your leap-start out to getting more healthy. We are community-driven, and we care about your health and fitness.

Zenger: From what I comprehend, you have been building smoothies in the hood and that turned into anything huge. How did it get began?


Percy Crawford interviewed Domonique “Dinero” Meyers for Zenger News. (Heidi Malone/Zenger

Dinero: Being mindful of my diet regime in excess of the several years, I begun this firm in July 2016. So, five years ago, I was using on a pink scooter in my neighborhood, the 5th Ward. And I see a constructing that utilised to fix motorbikes and scooters for lease. I mentioned: “This could be a smoothie business enterprise right below.”

I arrived at out, talked to the proprietor and the quantities have been excellent. But I seriously was not prepared to start out a enterprise there. I had never even manufactured a smoothie to provide. The idea just type of sparked. I labored at a nonprofit, so I asked a number of people today there what I need to do. They claimed: “Well, if you just cannot get the building, just get began by setting up a stand at the barbershop in the neighborhood.” And that is what I did.

They also advised me to get high quality ingredients. I needed to make positive my smoothies are balanced. I wound up working with non-dairy agave, which is superior than sugar.

I began offering smoothies at the barbershop. They were being an immediate strike. I was out there 24/7, all more than the metropolis. I would have the overall sidewalk lined up with men and women seeking smoothies, which weren’t readily available any where else. We didn’t have any healthy alternatives there — the 5th Ward is crammed with liquor suppliers and fried foodstuff.

I was working out each and every working day on the sidewalk, people had been signing up for in with me, and I also started jogging and doing 5K operates. We are surely about well being education and learning and informing all of our buyers, leaving them with literature and inspiration on changing their lifestyle. It is much additional than just a smoothie.

Zenger: Was it hard to get these nutritious smoothies to acquire off in a city not known for having nutritious eating options? 

Dinero: it was a bit difficult, but it was not hard. About a few or four several years back, items were being shifting in the city. You began seeing some healthier selections come all around. I consider that I experienced a whole lot to do with persons currently being equipped to have entry to that sort of solution. It allows that my smoothies truly style great. I have had individuals on the lookout at my inexperienced smoothie like:“Man, that detail possibly preferences unpleasant.” Retain in head, I’m working with the hood, so it was straight like that. It was: “Ugh, I do not want that eco-friendly a single, give me the pink one particular.” But then they would taste the inexperienced 1 and come across out it is wonderful.

I truly shook the society from knowledge that appears to be can be deceiving when it will come to items like a nutritious smoothie. You have to give issues a test.

Dinero at do the job on the streets of his hometown, New Orleans. (Courtesy of Dinero Meyers) 

Zenger: How did the offer with Rouses appear about? 

Dinero: 1 of my homies experienced a assembly with Rouses about figuring out how to do one thing with each other. He introduced in a handful of individuals who experienced companies previously, from the farmers to individuals who cooked to merchandise. He reported he wished to do a vendor sector each individual week or some thing like that at Rouses. So, I took the meeting. I’m group-based, and there ended up a lot of items at stake, as significantly as them righting their wrongs. So, if they have been eager to do the undoing, I’m with it.

That was my total pitch in the conference. This is not just about me. It is about developing options for work opportunities. It was a choice I experienced to make for myself and other folks. We are about 4 or five months in now, and each and every Saturday, we do the sector at Rouses on Tchoupitoulas. And pretty before long, they will have my fresh new-pressed juices and ginger photographs on the shelf in their CBD [Central Business District] area.

(Edited by Matthew B. Corridor and Fern Siegel)

The put up Smoothie Operator: Impartial Blender Bringing Balanced Foods To The Streets appeared initially on Zenger Information.