S.C. native & Army veteran opens dream business in Columbia

S.C. veteran opens smoothie shop

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Darius “DJ” Johnson has served our country and now is serving something delicious to the citizens of Columbia.

Johnson is an Army veteran from Bamberg who served several tours of duty including stops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait. While serving our country, Johnson said his physical health and fitness become even more important than ever.

“While I was gone I took what I was putting into my body very seriously. I was doing a lot of weight lifting and a lot of running."

Johnson now works at McEntire Joint National Guard Base while he’s not running his brand new smoothie and juice shop, “Groove."

“The military has definitely been a stepping stool to do all the things I’ve wanted to do in my life,” Johnson said. “It helped me prepare to be a business owner, a better father, taught me time management...all the skills you could need.”

While “Groove” serves up smoothies, juices and healthy drinks that Johnson says he has at least once or twice a day, he’s also hoping for the shop to become a sort of hot spot for both older and younger generations to bond over his other passion - oldies music. “I grew up listening to old-school music...the catalogs we’d listen to were outrageous - 70′s music, 80′s music - even 90′s and a little rap from this era too.”

Johnson’s store is covered with vinyl albums, a record player, music notes, and of course - lots of classic songs - all of which he says inspires him every day.

“Music taught me a lot about being a man,” Johnson noted as he made his “Marvin Whey” smoothie for us to try. Some other notable shakes include “Juicy Fruit," and “Midnight Train to Georgia” which of course features peaches.

He says his ultimate dream is franchise the shop and continue his community outreach. “If you’re a veteran, that’s important to us...if you play a saxophone or the drums, we want to hear from you - we want to meet you."

“Groove” is located at 7510 Garners Ferry Rd, Columbia, SC 29209

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