Atlanta Hawks Recognize Black Woman-Owned Beverage Company For ‘Lifting The 404’

Atlanta Hawks Recognize Black Woman-Owned Beverage Company For ‘Lifting The 404’

Dr. Bianca Kiovanni is quickly becoming a name in Atlanta's entrepreneurial scene.

Dr. Bianca Kiovanni, creator and owner of Atlanta-based Simplicity Beverage Company, entered the industry, she says, “by mistake, on purpose.” As the new year unfolds, Kiovanni’s small business is receiving its flowers for continuing to impact the city positively.

On Jan. 15, the Atlanta Hawks and UPS, the team’s official delivery and hometown logistics partner, launched Lift the 404, according to a press release provided to BLACK ENTERPRISE. Kiovanni, and by extension her Simplicity Beverage Company, was the first honoree during Monday’s nationally televised game against the San Antonio Spurs. 

Lift the 404 coincides with the Hawks’ mission to create greater economic opportunity in the community.

“I am honored to the Hawks and UPS for choosing Simplicity Beverage Company, my Atlanta homegrown business as a Lift the 404 honoree,” Kiovanni said in the release. “I am pleased to cheer on the home team at State Farm Arena on this historic Martin Luther King Day.”

“It’s Now or Never”

By day, Kiovanni is a chiropractor and functional medicine practitioner specializing in nutritional counseling. Her knack for advising patients on the food they eat grew into an enlightening realization about the importance of what they drink, too.

And there came the inspiration behind the intentional tagline of Simplicity Beverage: “Clean Ingredients, Complex Flavors.”

Kiovanni married her interests in health and food with “Droplets of Knowledge,” factoids about the healthy ingredients in her beverages printed on the front of each bottle.

In 2021, Kiovanni launched four flavors of beverages. Her collection of nonalcoholic, vegan, gluten-free iced teas and lemonades are all sweetened with sugarcane. There is no artificial dye food coloring, and all products are made in Atlanta using high-pressure processing that allow her beverages to last up to 12 weeks in a refrigerated environment. As a testament to her passion, Kiovanni was a finalist at BevNET Live’s Showdown in December 2021.

Source: Simplicity Beverage Company / Created via Canva

“I literally got in my own kitchen one day and said, ‘Is it possible to come up with something that tastes good, that’s full of flavor, that doesn’t have the chemicals, the processing, the artificial colors, the sweeteners, things of that nature?’ And that’s exactly how Simplicity was born,” Kiovanni said in an interview with Hiperbaric.

“I would just tinker with it over the past 10 years because it was something that I always had to do after work. I tried to launch the company several times, and it seemed every time, something catastrophic would happen, the last one being the pandemic.”

What does it mean to “Lift the 404”?

During five games this season, the Hawks will don their Fly City Edition uniforms and, in partnership with UPS, recognize five minority-owned businesses. 

“To ‘Lift the 404′ means that your business cares deeply about having a positive impact on Atlanta and its people,” said Hawks’ Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Inclusion, and People Officer Camye Mackey in a press release.

In March 2022, the Hawks launched Hawks Ventures, a mission-driven venture fund that will invest $50 million in early-stage startups and businesses, combining two primary focus areas: “minority- and women-led/underrepresented businesses and customer-obsessed businesses with the potential to impact or transform the way a product or service is experienced,” the press release stated.

The Hawks also teamed up with Black Girl Ventures to offer local Black and Brown entrepreneurs the chance to “Pull Up & Pitch” their business ideas with the chance of winning up to $10,000. And the work continues to spotlight small businesses.

Thanks to a collaboration with the Hawks and Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE) collaboration, Simplicity Beverage Company will be honored along with four other local companies—and receive resources and financial opportunities—later this season.

In 2022, UPS and RICE released the UPS Logistics Launchpad, a logistics hub for Atlanta-based Black entrepreneurs in Atlanta that equips them with the resources to launch, scale, and grow their businesses. The UPS Foundation has provided nearly $3 million to support diverse-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises.