March is Women’s History Month, and to celebrate, we are tipping our hats to SouthCoast women that have made our lives better.

They make your favorite cup of coffee. They teach our youth. They brighten our lives just by being their true, authentic selves. This month belongs to iconic women, and so many of them are our neighbors, staking their claim in this small part of the world, unapologetically.

It’s time we give them a spotlight.

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Meet Karyn of Tropical Smoothie Cafe

After starting a career in Oncology, Karyn Ferreira of New Bedford quickly fell in love with health and wellness.

“I became more passionate about becoming healthy, so I started going to Tropical Smoothie in Dartmouth, and once I got a taste of it, it inspired me,” she said.

She decided shortly after that she wanted to be a franchise owner of the company. It took her three years to get approved for a loan, and in 2013, she was finally approved to rent out her original space on Alden Road.

“I don’t consider this a franchise, I consider this my own, personal business because I take so much pride in it,” Ferreira said.

She opened her New Bedford location in 2018 and her path as a business owner was proving to be a smart move.

Running a Business Comes with Obstacles

In 2023, she was unexpectedly asked to vacate her Fairhaven location and was left searching for other options.

READ MORE: Owner of Rivershops in Mattapoisett Aims to Support Local

“I am so passionate about my customers in Fairhaven, they are like family, and I felt like staying in Fairhaven was the only option,” she said.

Luckily, she found a new location in town and aims to open the new spot in the spring of this year.

Running a Business & Being a Single Parent

Not only did Ferreira walk away from a steady job to pursue her own ventures, but she was also a single mom, trying to make a good life for her daughter.

“Trinity spent much of her youth here (at Tropical Smoothie),” she said. “She would watch Dora the Explorer while I worked, and then she started working here when she was fourteen.”

Ferreria’s daughter saw firsthand from her mother that working hard can bring rewarding outcomes, and now the two work alongside each other as they continue to write their legacy on the SouthCoast.

The Power of Working Hard

Ferreira not only runs two branches of Tropical Smoothie, but she is also passionate about being involved in the community.

An advisory board member for the Friends of Jack Foundation, a volunteer for the United Way, a member of the Economic Development Committee in Fairhaven, and an avid supporter of school sports and activities, Ferreira isn’t afraid to let her voice be heard
in hopes of bettering the lives around her.

It’s a trait that she hopes her daughter and other young females embrace.

“I think it’s very important for younger females in this generation to see that you can really succeed, as long as you have the heart and the hustle to work hard,” she said.

Anyone who knows Karyn knows her smile is contagious. Trying to make someone's day comes second nature to her, and she aims to create an enjoyable work environment.

"I want my guests to feel appreciated and my team to feel the same," she said.

Here's to you, Karyn.

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