Who are they?
Smojo Smoothies, a local business run by Beth Harley, resides at Piedmont Place. The business began in 2014 in a food truck. She catered music festivals and concerts on the downtown mall. Smojo Smoothies has many healthy options from smoothies to salads. An added benefit to the healthy options at Smojo is that everything is gluten-free.
About the Owner
Beth Harley was an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. She had a waitressing job at the Virginian. Upon graduating, she decided to attend cooking school in Arizona. She worked at The Inn at Little Washington for a time and as a pastry chef in Baltimore. After her family moved back to Charlottesville, she took care of her children for ten years before coming back to the food industry feeling inspired. Beth says she feels proud to offer a healthy option for people who want to go for a healthy balanced meal.
For Aspiring Chefs
“It’s a rough industry,” Harley said laughing. She explained how you have to start at the bottom washing dishes or chopping the onions and work your way to the top. She praised the female owned businesses in the industry.
“I think what women are doing in the kitchen is kind of changing the culture and making it less tough and more of a family thing. I would say head towards the place where you know there’s a woman chef and learn a few things from there.”
Keeping Things Healthy
Ms. Harley has incorporated what she learned as a young chef to create healthy, delicious options for the community. She knew that apples were sweet, and cashews were creamy. She didn’t want to use sugar or dies of any sort so she added vibrant colored foods. She used an example of one of her popular smoothies, the green smoothie, which contains apples, cashews, and bananas. To balance the combination, she added kiwi and pineapple which add “zing” to the drink. She encourages people to try different things when they decide to try eating healthier.
Message to the Community
“I'd love it if everybody gave me a chance to prove to them that healthy can taste delicious. I think people think that being healthy is something you have to do, as a punishment, sometimes to balance out their pizza, beer, or ice cream...I just love it when people give it a chance when we win them over to healthy eating. It’s not hard to do as long as you give it a try.”
If you’d like to know more about Smojo Smoothies, you can visit them at their website http://www.smojosmoothies.com/. Or, follow them on their Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smojosmoothies/ (@smojosmoothies)
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/smojosmoothies/ (@smojosmoothies)
Written by Diana Kim