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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Devoted Educator, Morgan Alumnus, Starts Smoothie Stores, Hires Former Students

Victorious Hall, a resident of Prince George’s County, recalls taking trips to smoothie shops while cruising outdoors on his bike. His routine became stopping to purchase them during biking excursions.  After discovering that unhealthy ingredients were contained in smoothies formulated by some leading chains, the innovator and hip hop fan began exploring the idea of opening his own smoothie store with healthy options. He played around with words and sounds. The line, “Spizzy is the spot” stuck in his head.

Isaiah “Zay” Womack shows his brother, Jacob McGougan how to work the cash register on his first day employed at Spizzy.
Photo credit: Victorious Hall

Spizzy became a spot featuring whole fruit smoothies minus syrup. As soon as Hall opened the first store in Camp Springs in 2020, the pandemic happened. He did not give up on taking an entrepreneurial leap or celebrating positivity.

“All of our smoothies are named after cities in Prince George’s County,” Hall said.

One store is located at 5830 Allentown Way in Camp Springs, Maryland. The second Spizzy shop can be found at 15902 D Crain Highway in Brandywine. Hall wanted to include youth on his journey, too.

“I have been an educator, teacher, and assistant principal for 20 years. So, my goal was to use my experiences in education,” Hall said. “The goal was to continue to provide mentorship for young people through entrepreneurial endeavors while simultaneously providing a healthy option for my community.”

Isaiah “Zay” Womack shows his brother, Jacob McGougan how to work the cash register on his first day employed at Spizzy.
Photo credit: Victorious Hall

The bulk of Hall’s career was spent working at Oxon Hill Middle School. Mentoring was Hall’s college job in Baltimore City. Initially, he was studying business management at Morgan State University.

 “I realized how much I enjoyed mentoring and being a teacher’s assistant in Baltimore City, so I decided to change my major to be a history major,” Hall said.

Hall currently works as a consultant training teachers in schools across the nation. Spizzy has become his real-life classroom. Hall —who is always looking for financial assistance— self-funded Spizzy stores. He gives former students chances to become employed and explore future goals. Approximately six of his mentees have worked with him, although Hall has touched the lives of thousands of youth.

“So, the goal is ownership for the young people. I want them to be franchise owners. Opportunities are often shut off to young people who may emerge from difficult environments. Opening a storefront can be a huge financial obligation that many from adverse environments may not have access to. My hope is to help ease that burden for them as they continue to push the brand,” Hall said. “For me this is an opportunity to not only mentor them, and give them job readiness skills, but it’s also this idea of having them own something but also understanding the business and owning the business.”

A developmental experience that he has provided for Spizzy employees has included participating in an expense paid staff retreat to Jamaica. They are also paid a “substantial amount of money,” according to Hall.

“None of them make minimum wage,” he said.

Jacob McGougan, 22, met Hall at Oxon Hill Middle School. They stayed connected over the years.  McGougan works at the Camp Springs Spizzy location. He runs the store and feels good about staying in touch with Hall while participating in building something positive. While attending Friendly High School, a knee injury ended McGougan’s college football scouting hopes. He was being considered for scholarships until then. McGougan said that he now hopes that Spizzy can ultimately take care of the Spizzy team and their families.

“I feel that the teachers and administrators are the most important people in today’s kid’s lives because those are the ones kids come to and learn from,” McGougan said.

Javion Hall also met Hall at Oxon Hill Middle School. Writing songs and performing music are personal interests. He works at both Spizzy locations as a manager. Keeping in touch with Victorious has been a blessing to him. Javion mentioned that he has experienced personal growth. He recognizes the importance of having access to educators like Victorious.

“I think that’s very important because at the end of the day, the kids are the future. So, whatever you put into them now, that kind of determines what the future will look like,” he said.

Victorious is impacting lives.

“It’s much bigger than just selling smoothies for me, so I’m always just trying to figure out ways that people can find out about my store, find out what I’m doing, and help whatever way they can,” Victorious said.

Visit https://drinkspizzy.com to learn more about Spizzy.

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