“You may be the owner, but I’m the boss,” six-year-old Kahliallah Robinson often tells her mom, Ayo Nzinga, founder of the Grind House Juice Bar.
Nzinga informed me of this business arrangement between her daughter and herself on Saturday, July 12, after the Juicing and Smoothie demonstration the two gave at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Nzinga did most of the demonstrating. Her daughter did most of the talking. Six-year-old Robinson was apparently the restaurant's public relations person, as well. The presentation was sponsored by Open the Cages Alliance and was open to the public, free of charge.
The Grind House Juice Bar is located where the Yabba Pot used to be at 2441 St. Paul Street in Baltimore. Nzinga originally approached the Yabba Pot hoping to volunteer. Instead, she was hired on the spot. When the Yabba Pot closed, Nzinga was persuaded to take over and start her own business. She had no savings but used a portion of every paycheck to get her juice bar going. For the first six months all she did was pay rent on the location. In June 2012, the doors to the Grind House Juice Bar opened, eight months after the Yabba Pot had closed.
Nzinga’s flavorful smoothie and juice concoctions attract people who eat for taste rather than nutrition, although her drinks are naturally packed with vitamins and minerals.
Robinson says her favorite drink is the Appletini. She looks so sincere I'm sure it's not just P.R. or even just because she's the boss.