CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After more than two years as an eco-friendly clothing boutique, a downtown Charleston business has made some changes to its business plan.
Mission Savvy owner Jennifer Miller has moved the clothing boutique online and is using the space at her Hale Street location for a vegan food cafe and juice bar.
Miller said there no other restaurants in Charleston specifically for vegans, who don't eat dairy or foods with animal products.
"I don't have any competition here," Miller said with a laugh. "None."
Miller grew up in Charleston. As a vegetarian, she found it difficult to find healthy eating options in the area, she said.
And since moving back to the area three years ago, Miller said she's met many more vegetarians and vegans here.
As for the clothing boutique that Miller opened two and a half years ago, she said the lack of shopping options downtown played into the decision to move the operation online. Also, because the clothing is made from organic materials and eco-friendly, the prices are typically higher than clothing found in shopping malls, she said.
"It was just a really, really tough sale," Miller said. "Online, I have customers that come for very specific designers. That's not a problem. So that's why I decided to keep it online and put in something that was going to make some money."
Before transitioning fully to a cafe, Miller tried selling some vegan items from a refrigerator in the boutique.
"It just did really well," she said. "So we decided to go ahead and ... do the complete transition of this space into a cafe."
That transition involved installing a commercial kitchen.
"There was absolutely no hookups, no beginnings of anything for a commercial kitchen so we basically had to start from scratch," Miller said.