21 Q&As with the owner, Carina Grenier, of Sipt Pressed & Poured Cafe

Carina Grenier knew she wanted to open a healthy Vegan spot somewhere in Cleveland. She noticed cute and trendy plant-based cafes in Miami, FL. She’s focused on health, wellness, and trusts food is medicine. Greiner recognized there was a gap to fill on Cleveland’s East Suburbs in Beachwood, Ohio. With a focus on health, creative flavors, and top-notch customer service, Sipt is a fantastic place to grab a smoothie bowl, a pour-over coffee, and yes, a must-have Avocado Toast!

Artisanal Avocado Toast (Photography by Brenda Godinez)

  1. What inspired you to start Sipt as a business? What is the inspiration behind the name of the company?

Being health-conscious, fitness driven, and always living a lifestyle of “food is medicine.” I felt the need for something like this in the Beachwood area.

2. What is your favorite thing about being an owner? As a business owner, what’s the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?

My favorite thing as an owner is watching my menu come to life and watching people order what I have been making in my kitchen for years!

3. What’s the dream for Sipt? I would love to open more locations.

4. What makes Sipt unique from the competition?

What makes Sipt unique is what we use for ingredients to achieve the highest quality of nutrition. We use all fresh, raw ingredients.

5. As a business owner, how do you define customer service? What is the customer service like at Sipt?

I pride myself on customer service; I have been in the hospitality industry for over 25 years, and that has always been the most important thing you can learn. I train my staff to be kind, helpful, accommodating, and knowledgeable to everyone who walks through my doors.

10. Have you thought about expanding the Sipt menu with more food and drink options or perhaps even offering lunch on your healthy menu? Or if you grow, have you thought about plant-based meal delivery service or catering?

I have just switched over to my summer menu, adding some new items based on feedback and what I’ve learned from the four months being open.

11. What is the number one selling food snack item at Sipt?

I wouldn’t call it a snack because it can be filling is the Avocado Toasts.

12. What is the number one selling drink item at Sipt? Green Force

13. Because of food allergies or preferences, some customers may prefer not to have a particular ingredient in their drinks or plant-based food snacks. One concern with being Vegan is giving off a picky customer vibe. Can customers substitute one ingredient for another hassle-free?

I train my staff to know what to substitute as suggestions and to accommodate any request within reason.

14. For those who may be on the fence about consistently eating nutritious Vegan foods, what can you share with us about plant-based eating to help ease the uncertainty?

It can be delicious. We offer little tastes if you are not sure. Vegan and plant-based options have come a long way over the years; it’s not how people used to think where Vegan options tasted like cardboard and plant-based is just vegetables and fruits. We have become very creative with how we can prepare fruits and veggies in combinations that will surprise your tastebuds!

15. Some businesses may offer their space up to those that may be interested in using it for a gathering or meet-up space where healthy, delicious food snacks and drinks are readily available. If another business owner or customer would like to host a small-sized event at Sipt, do you offer this option to the public?

They have already approached me to hold such events, and the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce is one of them; We are hosting an event soon with a special speaker on nutrition. I am open to Sipt hosting events.

16. Does Sipt have a foundation arm to the company? If so, what is it? If not, what ways have you considered giving back to the Cleveland community?

I love giving back to the community; We have donated a bunch of gifts and sponsorships. The environmental foundations are a big one.

17. Are gift certificates available at Sipt? For loyal customers, is there an option to receive points for purchases? If so, how?

We have gift cards for purchase and a loyalty program to earn points towards free smoothies, juices, and pour-overs

18. What is the work culture at Sipt? Are you hiring?

I am always looking for candidates to work at Sipt. I look for people who have the same passion for nutrition and or want to learn about health and wellness.

19. Customer suggestions and feedback are both essential to every business. Are you an advocate of customer feedback and taking ideas to grow continually and always be improving your business?

I like the feedback. Every business should listen to feedback. It’s what helps make a business grow.

20. As a local to the Cleveland area, I love supporting independent businesses and seeing Cleveland grow commercially. I’ve always said that independent companies seem to put much care, customer service, hard work, and tenacity to keep their business on top of their daily A-Game. I come from a family of entrepreneurs. It’s fun telling friends and family alike about a new business in town and a genuinely awesome one.

As a new business, how do you best generate business and get customers? I am personally a fan of Sipt’s Vegan Avocado Toast drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with red pepper flakes, and I love the Chocolaty Peanut Smoothie. My line is often “Having an unpleasant day? Stop at Sipt and have 6-star Avocado Toast and a Smoothie Bowl, and your day will only improve!” What keeps customers coming back to Sipt?

I train my staff to become knowledgeable about the menu and to remember customers’ faces and names so they can make Sipt a welcoming experience and making your tastebuds happy.

21. Sipt’s avocado toast is said to be the best in the Eastside suburbs. What’s unique to the preparation process for your avocado spread for Avocado Toast? What does Sipt do differently to make it that good?

We make it with a spread of love, and we top it with careful creativity!

*Please message me directly, send me a text or call me for $2 off to Sipt Cafe!

Writer, Inspirer, and Dreamer