We had the good fortune of connecting with Charles Lovejoy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charles, what are you inspired by?
My family inspires me everyday. The Lovejoy’s are dynamic, diverse, successful and ambitious. Most importantly the Lovejoy family is generous and always looking for ways to help others. My Mother started her own non profit. The Family Place was the only day center for homeless families in the Twin Cities metro area. She saw a need in the community and bootstrapped the whole project herself. She served our community for over 20 years. Her selflessness is my inspiration for my business. We donate a percentage of our sales to organizations dedicated to empowering people and helping people out of systematic homelessness.
What should our readers know about your business?
Although I am a business owner, I am also a father, husband, son, brother, friend, and Black male artisan dedicated to giving back to my community. I am no more special than the next guy, but I am a hard worker, driven by a passion to build the Lovejoy Brand one extraordinary product at a time. I was tasked as a bartender to craft the best bloody Mary EVER. After a few notable awards, it is confirmed that I succeeded. Thank you very much. But I can’t stop with amazing beverages when there are so many delicious culinary treats to create. I am inspired to be my own boss, continue with philanthropy, and leave a legacy that encompasses The Lovejoy goodness that was passed down from my mother and hers before her and so on…
I grew up with a single mother and three siblings in St. Paul, MN. Our mother’s strength enabled her to rise above the circumstances of low income, put herself through school to obtain degrees (that lead to a doctorate) while founding and Executive Directing the only family homeless shelter in Ramsey County. As labor laws go, she exploited us! lol! The reality is, we learned invaluable lessons helping at the shelter. Lessons that shaped the way we showed up in the world-tenacious, compassionate, appreciative, dedicated to making the world a bit better, and learning that we are truly the keeper of one another.
Challenges are a part of life, it is how you deal with them that sets you apart and on your way to achieving great things. Never quitting. Finding the solution. Grinding day in and day out. Wearing all the hats. Forever Learning. Evolving. Doing things the right way. Stay inspired, even when it looks bleak. These are some tidbits of advice that I can easily share.
If there is one last thing I think you should know, it’s these fifty-eleven things… Lovejoy’s Brand is love and joy. We give a percentage of profits to organizations (like the one founded by my retired mother) that cares for at-risk youth and those experiencing homelessness. AND I could not have done this without family- by name or in practice.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am always up for the next adventure. I would use one of the best inventions ever made by man (Google) and find a unique dining experience; whether it be the best food truck or the highest end restaurants. One rule, locally owned and operated…But for sure we are eating out the whole time! Every meal. At the best of the best soul food, taco joint, breakfast spot, etc. Food has taken on such character that to dismiss it as a small part of any great weekend would be CRAZY. And every place we went we would order a Bloody Mary and taste-test our way through it all,
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shout out would be to my family! Specifically my sister Susanne. without her mentorship Lovejoy’s brand would not be where it is today. She has given me incredible amounts of knowledge about business and finance. My family has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. My mother bootstrapped a non profit called The Family Place which was the only day shelter for homeless families in St. Paul. She ran it for 25yrs serving countless families. My brother was an independent contractor. Susanne has overseen multiple business ventures and is currently one of the most sought after grant writers in the Midwest. My wife Sara has been with me every step of the way supporting and helping guide our dream into reality. My whole family has been there to help in one way or another. My son and his partner work the booth at trade shows and festivals my 5 and 6 year old daughters help me with deliveries, great friends and coworkers help make the product. Just having that daily encouragement and support from so many is an amazing thing. Lovejoy’s is truly a community effort!