This story is part of Tri-Cities Best, News Channel 11’s community coverage segment that lets readers vote for their favorites in the region. The Groovy Smoothie was chosen as the region’s best brunch location by viewer nominations and votes, and was competing against other regional favorites:
- Cafe Lola
ERWIN, Tenn. (WJHL) – For Alex Peterson, The Groovy Smoothie is more than a business. It’s a way to give back to the community that helped shape her.
“I knew I wanted to own a business here in Erwin,” Peterson said. “And bring something different and something that hasn’t been here yet.”
Peterson carved out a new niche downtown by creating a fan-favorite brunch spot with a distinct 60s flair.
“Everyone loves it,” Peterson said. “We actually received the Best New Business Award in Erwin as well, so that was a really good surprise.”
The Groovy Smoothie offers a wide menu of retro-inspired dishes like the Elvis, a peanut butter, banana, yogurt and honey smoothie. The “Beet’les” smoothie features blueberries, pineapple, beet powder and almond milk. Everything Alex serves has a retro or regional spin on it.
“As much as we love being back in the kitchen whipping up good food,” Peterson said. “It’s putting that smile on someone’s face that we really enjoy the most.”
In terms of brunch, Peterson said the shop’s buttermilk waffles are a top seller. Building your own waffle with fresh toppings and delicious locally-sourced honey is always a good idea. Peterson is also proud of the location’s expanding lunch menu of wraps, salads and soups to round out the middle of the day.
As part of a new generation of business owners in the Tri-Cities, Peterson said her best asset is an open mind.
“Listen to your community, what they want,” Peterson said. “Ask people for advice. That’s the main thing, ask people for advice.”
Community connections are key for small businesses around the world, but even more so in less-populated areas like Erwin.
“I want to say thank you to everyone that voted for me, and all the people that support the business,” Peterson said. “Because it definitely wouldn’t be where it is today without the customers and the community.”