With just one semester at Tidewater Community College behind her, Nia Vargas, 21, is on her way to launching her very own business.
Rollin Juices, a mobile juice bar, will offer plant based milk and cold pressed juices via a non-emissions food truck that runs on solar energy and electric power.
Through her business classes, Vargas learned about the inaugural #IAmFunded Pitch Competition, sponsored by Black Brand, Hampton Roads’ Regional Black Chamber of Commerce.
One of 10 young entrepreneurs selected to participate in the competition, Vargas took the top spot. She received $10,000 to cover start-up costs and landed a team of mentors.
“This is absolutely going to set me on the path for success,” she said. “The first three years of any business venture is vital, and now I have a team to help me launch my vision.”
A horticulture major at TCC, Vargas branched out and included a small business management and entrepreneurship class in her schedule during that first semester.
“I chose horticulture because I want to learn to grow my own crops. I added business, because I need to know how to own and operate a business,” she said.
Vargas added, “I love the community at TCC and how everyone is invested in our success. Even if it’s a simple event, the effort shows that they are here for us.”
Plans are under way for the Rollin Juices soft launch in March. The first food truck is being outfitted and will operate, in part, on solar power. Along with new signage and interior systems, the truck will be one of the first in the area to offer on-site service and home deliveries.
In addition, to keep expenses in check and protect the environment, her team is converting multiple shipping containers into a commercial kitchen and office space. They will be placed on a site off Tidewater Drive.
“I’ve always been focused on health and wellness, and by going green with my business, I’m hoping to create awareness that the smallest things we do can benefit or harm the planet,” she said.
Vargas develops her own recipes for juices and other products. She hopes to provide healthy food options that everyone can afford.
Rollin Juices will first appear by Zeke’s Beans & Bowls off Granby Street in March. The Rollin truck also will have a slot at this year’s Something in the Water festival in April.