Meet The BFFs Who Are Having The Biggest Breakthrough In Trinidad’s Wellness Market

Quick! What’s the best smoothie and juice bar in Trinidad?
For all of us detoxers who replace one meal a day with a smoothie, or go full scale with a 5 day green juice cleanse, the name Sweet Beet sits at the top of that list.
We discovered Stefanie Thavenot and Alix Fitzwilliam’s juice bar when the two BFFs turned entrepreneurs, opened their first store behind the famous Chanka’s vegetable mart in St James. At the time, one of our FF TV producers was about to do a juice fast, we all joined in and have been big fans ever since (Judette loves Sweet Beet’s Carp Diem, a delicious creamy, cashew milk coffee concoction that she gets customized every week for her non-caffeine taste buds.)
"When Allix and I realized that we both shared this passion, we decided that we wanted to do something to bring this lifestyle option to the people of Trinidad."
Our initiation was about 4 years ago, since then the duo has opened a flagship store in West Mall with a pretty expansive offering that includes at times, an all-raw, vegan grab-and-go section, kale and lentil salads, noodle bowls, vegan brownies and nut butters.  The menu range of juices and smoothies is enormous.
Fitzwilliam and Thavenot shook up the wellness beverage market because of a yearning to encourage others to make better nutritional choices and lead healthier lifestyles and they have spent the last couple of years digging deeper into their brand making sure their offerings are in alignment with their values.  The  #girlbosses are eyeing other locations too and hope to open a second bar in San Fernando while continuing to supply local shops with their in-demand bottled concoctions and packaged health foods.
Oh, did we mention they are both under 30 years old?
How did Sweet Beet come about and how is it different from other health beverage and wellness brands you’re up against?
Stephanie Thavenot:
We began authentically not for market reasons but with a passion for living a healthy and wholesome life, eating foods from the earth and feeling the way our bodies are meant to feel. When Alix and I realized that we both shared this passion, we decided that we wanted to do something to bring this lifestyle option to the people of Trinidad.
Alix Fitzwilliam:
We started small and with lots of baby steps and a few bigger steps that led us where we are now. We differ from other clean food and wellness brands because the business stems from a personal passion for the way of life, which shines through in the small details. We take the extra step to provide the best of the best using only top-quality ingredients such as olive oil, apple cider vinegar, cashews. We never compromise on the quality of our product.
The name of your business is unusual, how did you come up with it?
ST:
The first day Alix and I met to discuss the business, we started thinking of all the possible names. We listed almost every fruity adjective and noun possible until we came up with this random match that made us say YES! It suited us perfectly, we liked the ring to it and the fun vibe that it set.
Being friends is also fun but being business partners is not always so, what’s your working relationship like?
ST:
We both put a lot of passion into everything we do with The Sweet Beet. We recognise each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We may at times have different opinions but we work together to create the best business that we can.
AF:
Plus we make a great team. We combine our different skills and strengths to make magic. We have an extremely valuable partnership and The Sweet Beet wouldn’t be where it is today without the both of us, working as one unit.
You offer an extensive range for a small-sized company in the wellness market, how do you add to your product range?
ST:
This is the part that excites us and I think experimenting and creating new products equally excites our customers. For example, we started off making our own peanut butter only as additions to our smoothies and as a topping for our acai bowls but after the demand grew and grew, we decided to bottle it and sell it separately as well. We now bottle and sell 100% peanut, almond and cashew butter. Once we love it and our customers love it, we are more than likely going to make and sell it.
AF:
We also spend a lot of time working together innovating and researching, testing out recipes and bringing out new products. We are passionate about what we do and even though it is hard work, most of our ideas and brainstorming come naturally to us.
"It’s tricky dealing with both fresh and seasonal produce but we maintain a high standard for the quality of produce used, which is reflected in our products."
You deal with fresh and seasonal produce. How did you go about cultivating relationships with your suppliers?
ST:
Our suppliers are an essential part of our business as, without them, we wouldn’t be able to function so communication and reliability are key. With regard to anything local or seasonal, it’s important for us to understand any inconsistencies with supply or quality and once again, communicate.
It’s tricky dealing with both fresh and seasonal produce but we maintain a high standard for the quality of produce used, which is reflected in our products.
Your social media pages are a feast for the eyes, colourful fun, healthy and yet you both are not featured a lot on it. Is there a reason?
ST:
Yes. We live the lifestyle that we promote so it’s easy for us to create the content for the brand and we try our best to put out content that’s genuine, fun and engaging and we believe that the community will naturally build with followers whom it resonates.
AF:
We also strive to create a fresh and fun island style, using only colours and inspiration from nature. It’s all round vibrant, organic and simple with a Trinidadian touch.  Our personal pages are open and we both share a lot of our brand and products, but generally, we keep our business page more professional and product based. We love that community are all ages, genders, and cultures.
What impact are you trying to create with The Sweet Beet in the wellness space?
AF:
Our goal and mission is to make a healthy lifestyle convenient, satisfying and delicious. We are in the middle of launching some exciting new products right now, and our next focus will be our second juice bar in South. We want to help people achieve their health goals, eat more foods from the earth and less from a box and fuel their bodies with wellness and nutrition that’s alive so that they feel their best and thrive.

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