Not only is media personality Angela Yee making moves on the airwaves, but she is building an empire, one business at a time.
When she isn’t being a voice for the culture, whether it’s on the nationally syndicated show “The Breakfast Club” or through her own podcast, “Lip Service,” Angela is driving change in the community.
From Juices for Life to Coffee Uplifts People (CUP), as an entrepreneur, Angela is intentional, which is why she is on a mission for each business to serve a greater cause.
Through her businesses, the community has access to nutrition, financial literacy and more.
Angela Yee stopped by AfroTech to dish on her journey to entrepreneurship, how the culture and community always come first, and more!
How It All Started
“It was something that I didn’t even realize that I was doing at the time,” Angela told AfroTech in an exclusive interview. “I just saw a need for something for myself and then I thought it would be good for other people.”
She explains how a change in her lifestyle led her to open Juices For Life.
“Every single morning I was making juices to start my day and to give me that energy boost that I needed. I had a NutriBullet at home, but sometimes I just didn’t feel like doing that, or I just didn’t have all of the ingredients readily available,” Angela Yee told AfroTech. “And so because I couldn’t find a good place for juices in my neighborhood, I decided to just open one. My whole thought process was that if I was searching for it, others in the community were too.”
For her, it was never about making a lot of money.
“I wasn’t even thinking that I was becoming an entrepreneur,” she explained. “I wasn’t thinking I want to make a lot of money. I just saw something that I thought would be good, and I wanted to encourage more people to get into juicing because it helped me so much.”
For Us, By Us
“Who cares more about us than we do?” she asked. “I can relate to so much personally. I’ve had high cholesterol, I’ve had issues with my own weight and feeling like I gained too much weight or just haven’t been eating right.”
It was important for Angela to build a business that was within reach of her own community.
“I always try to make [my businesses] really inclusive of who the people are, who we are,” she said. “I live right in the neighborhood, so I can walk to the juice bar. I can walk to my coffee shop and I think it means a lot for people to see me. I’m not just coming into the neighborhood from somewhere else without any familiarity with the people that they serve.”
She continued: “I’m also not trying to make money from it. Money is not even the first thing that I think about. My juice bar is not even a highly profitable business. We don’t charge excessively.”
A part of that is making the juices affordable at about $6 per juice.
“Making sure that they’re affordable for people is a part of what we do, and that means more to me than charging an extra two or three dollars just to try to profit off of the neighborhood,” she expressed. “I look at it more as like — I’m a fortunate person where I can have this business, and I can pay people to come and work here from the neighborhood. Plus, it can benefit the people who live here without me having to get rich off of it.”
“I would say that the most rewarding part is seeing other people benefit from something that I’ve built,” said Angela Yee. “What I love about having a brick and mortar business is that you actually get to see people and, in particular, the business that I have, you get to see the difference that it makes visually and people will also talk to you about it.”
Another way Angela Yee makes a difference is by offering HIV testing at her business twice a year.
“I’ve even had conversations with people who will confide in me about their own status,” she said. “I love the fact that people feel open enough that they can talk to me about things like that. That means a lot.”
Angela also has a warm spot for witnessing people change their livelihood.
“Something that we’ve seen, specifically during the pandemic, is that a lot of us may have underlying health issues that put us at a greater risk,” she said. “So, to be able to have a juice bar where people come in and are like ‘Hey, I heard you talking about juicing on the radio, and I came in here and started doing it. Now, my blood pressure is not high anymore,’ is just another example of being able to see the difference that I’m making as an entrepreneur.“
On the surface, it seems as if Angela Yee has done it all, but sis says that there’s still more work to do!
“I feel like right now — I’m just planting seeds and they haven’t fully grown yet, but you have to be sure to plant those seeds so that later on you have a nice big tree,” she concluded. “Right now I’m just in the process of investing and what that means is that I’m investing my time, I’m investing my finances… I’m doing all of those things so that later on it can be successful.”
Her next business, CUP is slated to open on Oct. 15, 2021.