SunEnergy1 Donation Funds Smoothie Shop
SunEnergy1 Donation Funds Smoothie Shop

Nothing brings people together like a good smoothie! As part of SunEnergy1’s commitment to support local communities, they have donated $10,000 to Easterseals UCP’s EMPOWER program in Ahoskie.


Ahoskie, North Carolina is a small town in Hertford county with a population of less than 5,000 people. There is a lot of farmland but not a lot of accessible services for individuals with disabilities. Easterseals UCP (ESUCP) is changing this dynamic by opening a smoothie shop to offer them job training and employment opportunities. The money will be used to upgrade the program’s kitchen to meet the necessary commercial kitchen health code regulations to obtain a permit to make and sell smoothies. In addition, the funds will be used to buy the equipment, ingredients and supplies to start the business.

Easterseals UCP, EMPOWER Ahoskie will exclusively hire individuals with disabilities, where employees will gain on-the-job training, invaluable work experiences and in some cases, enough work hours to help live independently. In addition to making smoothies, team members will learn other transferable skills such as food preparation and kitchen clean-up.

“My team is already dreaming of the type of smoothies they will make!” says Sarah-Grace Britton, program director. “SunEnergy1’s funding of our kitchen equipment will help us launch a great program.”

The program will offer smoothies for sale that are made with a choice of proteins, greens, peanut butter, bananas and dashes of cocoa. There’s even an option to add mocha flavor for coffee lovers. Smoothies offer a wide variety of choices which will help employees learn how to customize smoothie ingredients and flavors based on the menu and customer preferences. Easterseals UCP is excited about obtaining the kitchen permit and the ability to make smoothies as another stepping stone toward expanding opportunities for young adults with disabilities in Ahoskie.

SunEnergy1 is a vertically integrated Solar Developer that controls all stages of a solar project inhouse; from land acquisition, permitting, design, engineering, and construction to operations and maintenance. This model creates significant pricing and term flexibility, ensuring the best price for the corporate, institutional and utility partners. For more information, please visit their website.

About Easterseals UCP
Easterseals UCP North Carolina & Virginia is a trustworthy, compassionate partner providing exceptional disability and behavioral health services to help our neighbors live their best lives. Purpose, dedication and empathy drive our service delivery. Our diverse and inclusive 2,300 member team provides more than 9 million hours of meaningful support to 22,000 kids, adults and families in 11,000 home and community locations.