Atlanta's 11 Least Influential People: No. 7

Creative Loafing's countdown of Atlanta’s 11 Least Influential People is a tribute to women and men everywhere struggling to meet the challenges of life in a modern American city.

The top five will be revealed in the next print edition of Creative Loafing, which hits newsstands Thursday, Nov. 8.


No. 7 Bridgette Vassar


Can't lure customers to her smoothie shop

(photo by Joeff Davis)

By day, Bridgette Vassar works as a software manager for a department store chain.

At night and on weekends, she works for herself.

In April she opened Silk: A Smoothie Café, a smoothie and dessert shop on the north edge of Decatur's Oakhurst neighborhood.

Vassar's vision is ambitious. She pictures Silk as part refreshment stop, part 18th-century French salon; a place where gym rats can stop in for a fruit smoothie spiked with protein powder, and others can sip wine, debate world affairs, or at least snicker at the Harper's Index. Eventually, she plans to expand to multiple locations.

Before any of that can happen, though, Vassar needs to get over a big hurdle.

She needs some customers. Business is very slow.

"I thought, 'I've got everything, and it's ready, and the people will come.' But this is not Field of Dreams. Getting people in here has been the biggest problem."

Vassar blames the shop's slow start on a number of factors.

"We didn't have a well-developed marketing plan."

As a start-up without a well-established brand behind her, she explains, she has to work extra-hard to get neighbors to take a chance on her.

Location is also an issue. Oakhurst is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, but her shop is away from most of the foot traffic. She looked into renting spaces in pedestrian-heavy Little Five Points and Virginia-Highland, but could not afford them.

"I should know [if she'll stay in business there] within 18 to 24 months," she says.

Judgment day may come sooner, however, as she recently found out that a Boise, Idaho-based coffee house and bistro, Moxie Java, plans to open its first metro Atlanta store on the opposite end of her retail strip.

"They have smoothies on their home page," she sighs. "It gives me pause. I don't think two places like that can survive here."

Visit Fresh Loaf on Wednesday morning for No. 6 on our countdown of Atlanta's 11 Least Influential People.

More By This Writer


Monday July 2, 2012 10:14 am EDT
Fourth of July has devolved into a mindless national block party. Here's what we should do about it. | more...


Wednesday September 7, 2011 04:30 am EDT
Ten years later, a TV terrorpalooza rings hollow | more...


Tuesday September 7, 2010 09:11 am EDT


My favorite foreign policy column cliché of the previous decade is, without a doubt, the Friedman Unit.

It’s a reference to New York Times foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman. Fair and Accuracy in Reporting noted that, between November 2003 and May 2006, Friedman used some form of the phrase “the next six months is crucial in Iraq”...

| more...


Thursday August 26, 2010 02:42 pm EDT

The last U.S. combat troops left Iraq on August 19. War over. Woohoo!

Take that, you stupid 9/11 terrorists who had absolutely nothing at all to do with Saddam Hussein or Iraq. Boo ya!

No. Wait. Upon further review, it turns out the war isn’t exactly over.

The combat troops are out, but there are still roughly 50,000 non-combat troops in Iraq. Iraq still has the third largest foreign...

| more...


Tuesday August 24, 2010 12:04 am EDT

As someone who had to turn on the closed captioning during The Wire, I totally get this.

The Associated Press:

ATLANTA — Federal agents are seeking to hire Ebonics translators to help interpret wiretapped conversations involving targets of undercover drug investigations.

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently sent memos asking companies that provide translation services to help it find...

| more...
Search for more by Andisheh Nouraee