VIDEO: Interview with Alex Curatolo of Belli's Juice

Updated: Oct 29, 2021



Interview transcript


How did they get started?


INFI

I just wanted to ask you, how did you come upon choosing that location and what were you doing before you started Belli’s?


Alex

Sure. I chose Pilsen, I mean it is pretty simple, I lived here (in Pilsen) at that time so it seemed like demand and a need in the community. Since I was a part of the community, I was just like oh well, we really need something healthy here.


Before that, I was doing a lot of different things. One of the things was, I was in grad school, so I was kind of studying local food, community development and I was really interested in public health actually.


I was in my first year of getting my master's and then I was also managing the farmers market in the neighborhood. So, I was really into it, I was one of those foodies. I guess one of those plant-based vegan foodie health freaks but I really enjoy, food and nutrition and all that stuff.


I decided to drop out of grad school because it just was not doing, it was not enough for me. I was doing too much research and I really wanted to do something, so I decided to kind of take what I knew from there and just from my past and from living here and just made a business plan, probably too quickly, and opened it up.


INFI

There are a lot of details there that I want to unpack but, one thing that you mentioned at the very beginning was that you lived in the community before you started Belli’s, and that is something that is come up a lot, was a community-oriented business. I do not know if you know 8A5E cafe and Bridgeport but…


Alex

Yeah.


INFI

It is a pretty cool spot. They offer tech assistance as well as like coffee and like coffee shop type food sandwiches and salads and things like that.