Harrison High School alum Talia Thomas has always wanted a business of her own–but not just any business.
“I was thinking about something I’d like to do on the daily, something I was passionate about,” the owner of SIPP Smoothie and Juice Bar said. “I like healthy stuff, and promoting that is always a goal.”
While driving down Farmington Road last year, she spotted a “for rent” sign on the former Hershey’s Ice Cream building just south of Grand River. While long-vacant, the building’s owners recently cleaned up the interior with a fresh coat of paint and new flooring.
“I knew that I had to have this space,” Thomas said. “I signed a lease a year ago, at the end of May 2020.”
Though Michigan had mostly shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thomas remained optimistic. She learned by doing and getting advice from other entrepreneurs. But the centerpiece of her business, Thomas already knew well.
SIPP offers raw juices made fresh each morning and smoothies with no sugar or additives–just fruit, ice, and agave, a natural sweetener. Customers can also pick up made-to-order salads and wraps.
“With our stuff, what you see is what you get,” Thomas said.
Other products include wellness shots and juice cleanses, available by pre-order on Mondays.
Thomas said she’s building her business for multiple locations. She hopes one will be familiar: the City of Farmington Hills’ new community center in the former Harrison High. Her focus now, though, is pretty simple.
“I want people to be happy,” Thomas said. “”That’s my goal. I want the community to be happy and excited about this space again.”