Hometown Eats: Little Green Hive

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 4:32 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - “I would have never, in my wildest dreams, thought that this was possible,” said Little Green Hive Coffee & Smootie Bar owner Sharon Ponce.

Sharon Ponce’s wildest dreams did, in fact, become reality with Little Green Hive, and just like the business motto, for Sharon, coffee is personal.

“It was coffee and that is something me and my father had always shared,” said Ponce.

In 2016, she and her husband Leo bought Little Green Hive. She was working fast food, her husband was a line cook at a local restaurant. It was a huge undertaking and certainly a financial leap of faith.

“Can we do this? Do we have the dollars? Can we pull this off? And Leo, being who he is, said let’s get it done,” said Ponce.

Sharon will be the first to tell you it was tough in the beginning, but the goal never wavered, bring happiness to her customers.

“My father had just passed, and it made me feel happy again,” Ponce said.

If you’re curious about the name, Little Green Hive, stop by the original location inside the Crafteria off Church Avenue in downtown Roanoke to see why.

“The shape of the kiosk there was the shape of a little beehive and everyone working together were like the worker bees and that’s how it was the little hive, and green because no Styrofoam and we use composable stuff, and we try to buy as much as we can from local businesses to support the community,” said Ponce.

Much like the honeybee, which pollinates and betters ecosystems, Little Green Hive helps local artisans by selling their goods at each location.

Yes, you heard that right, they have more than one hive. The original in downtown, the first expansion to Grandin in 2017 in a space next to the 7-Eleven and in 2020 they opened number 3 in the Daleville Town Center.

In 2023, you could see hives popping up because they’re finalizing a franchising agreement.

“I will be able to hand pick owners and I want it to be an owner/operator because it enriched out lives so much that if we can do that for somebody else, I would really like to,” Ponce said proudly.

Sharon still pinches herself thinking how far she has come, but none of it could’ve happened without a strong team around her.

“I couldn’t do anything without them! I’m so forgetful and flighty that they remind me of things. I’m just so proud of them,” said Ponce.

Little Green Hive has everything from coffee, which is in partnership with Red Roster in Floyd, to smoothies and exotic teas, as well as in-house breakfast and lunch.

Ponce described lots of the offerings at the various coffee shops. “They’ll be doing some special roasting for us to have our own brands out there and we’re working on bags right now. We make whole fruit smoothies, so there’s no added sugar, no added flavors, nothing artificial, we use frozen fruit, so we don’t use lots of ice. People really love our Tex-Mex burrito. It’s our most popular breakfast burritos. It’s got eggs, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, and Leo puts his homemade salsa with it, people love that stuff!”

“When you come in, this is kind of your first stop in the mornings and you can make or break somebody’s day. Yes, it’s coffee but I just want people to be happy,” Ponce said with pride.

Little Green Hive, a hometown eat fueling energy and the bonds of community in Roanoke and beyond.

Little Green Hive can be found at three locations.

Downtown Roanoke: 16 Church Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24011

Grandin Village: 1402 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 24015

Daleville Town Center: 90 Town Center Street #106, Daleville, VA 24083