SAPi Food Hustlers: Alexander’s Great Smoothies
Save A Plate, Inc (SAPi) is highlighting all the best of local food hustlers: the entrepreneurs that pour passion into every bite and keep our bellies full and happy. The foodpreneurs that are just starting their journey and those that are well on their way. We want to highlight the triumphs and challenges that connect us all.
Starting a food business requires a great deal of passion, optimism, and hustle, and the self-described “Southern Yankee” Alexander Simon has these qualities in spades.
Born in Philidelphia and raised in an Italian household, Simon has called South Carolina home for over a decade. As a burgeoning foodpreneur, the 23-year-old wants to use what he sees as a limitless opportunity around West Columbia to grow a smoothie food start-up and serve the community.
SAPi: Today we’re talking with Alexander Simon founder of the burgeoning smoothie brand Alexander’s Great Smoothies.
Let’s start at the top – where did the name Alexander’s Great Smoothies come from? Is that an illusion to the great Greek ruler?
Yeah, in a sense it is. I remember when I was a kid growing up that was a phrase I grew up with. I don’t want to get too ahead of myself though. I just need a cape and a throne and a sign that says try my smoothies, right here!
When did you start Alexander’s Great Smoothies? What made you choose smoothies as a focus?
I started about two weeks ago. This is what I wanted my whole life. I’ve always wanted my own business. I enjoy the act of making the smoothie and hearing people’s feedback. That’s what I always wanted: to have people look to me, and ever since I started making smoothies I knew this could be my trademark.
I started working at a restaurant when I was sixteen. I’ve always wanted to have my own restaurant, and my family has always entertained the idea of having a family-style restaurant. When I really came to think about it, I wanted to start off with a food truck. I decided to start first with smoothies, a classic idea.
So you decided to go with a simple concept first?
You said you had another job on top of starting your food business journey?
Yes, I’m attending school full-time for Business Management, I’m working full-time, and I am also starting my food business on the SAPi APP.
Has studying Business Management given you ideas about how to grow your business?
I wanted to form the central idea of what it means to lead people. I have always felt like a natural-born leader. I’ve always felt like I was part of the management team in any job I’ve had.
What is your current setup for Alexander’s Great Smoothies?
Right now I currently making them out of a home-based food kitchen. I have everything set up the way I like it.
What was the first smoothie creation that told you that you might be on to something?
That was the Strawberry Banana Deluxe. It consists of strawberries, banana, honey, and peanut butter. It’s one of my most favorite concoctions! Blended just right, it’s so smooth and you can’t beat it.
Who is your most trusted taste tester?
I’ll get with my mother and she’ll give me feedback. She was the first one to try the Strawberry Banana Deluxe and she helped me develop the idea and say “this is something worth getting out.”
What are your other standard flavors?
My current top seller is the Pumpkin Spiced Milkshake. I think that one has been successful because of the season. The Very Berry Protein has also been really popular lately. People can build it with requests for different ingredients. And the Strawberry Banana Deluxe.
Do you think your customer base is really health-conscious?
I’ve had a lot of people come to me for protein smoothies to help get them through their day. Some people are just looking for traditional home comfort flavors.
How do you currently reach your customer base?
I currently use Snapchat, Facebook, and the SAPi APP.
To start, I have relied on my close network of friends and family. From my experience, the friends I have grown up with are the best to spread the word. I have had a lot of fun posting on the SAPi APP. I use SAPi for everything. As soon as I had an idea for the Pumpkin Spice Smoothie, I was excited to post it on the APP.
I try to use the limited resources I have to start to get the word out. I can guide people through the SAPi APP, and eventually, get my own dedicated phone number. When I get things moving, I’m excited to put out my own promotions and possibly a website.
Where is your main delivery area?
I currently stay in West Columbia locations. I don’t mind going out within a 15-minute radius, to Lexington, Gaston, Cayce, or Springdale.
Are you planning on expanding to Farmer’s Markets?
Yes, I’ve considered joining the local farmer’s market, and maybe eventually setting up a stand. Right now, I want to use the amazing opportunity I have with SAPi because I think when things start exploding this is going to be the new Doordash.
What’s been your biggest challenge to starting Alexander’s Great Smoothies?
Honestly, just believing in myself with all my other commitments of full-time school and work. Right now it’s just me. After work is when I usually start to deliver and days when I’m off. In the future, I’ll be making a standard delivery schedule.
Where do you see Alexander’s Great Smoothies a year from now?
I would say hopefully all over media platforms. I want to see it go across borders and maybe a small franchise with SAPi’s help. I want to be out there delivering out there non-stop.
We’ll be following your journey and rooting for your success! To finish our article can we ask you some rapid fire food questions?
SAPi’s Fast Rapid Fire Foodie Questions
Who is someone’s food hustle you admire?
What city has the best food scene?
Best food there?
Crab Shack off of Center Street
What’s the best music to make smoothies to?
Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Post Malone, really everything!
What is the most precious tool in your food business?
What’s your go-to smoothie?
I make the Hulk Bash Refresher; apple, spinach, cabbage, and peanut butter, that’s my wake-up every morning.
What cuisine is missing in your local area that you would love to see?
A wing bar.
What is the strangest food you’ve ever tried?
Gator bites! And they tasted like chicken nuggets, and they were good.