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DJ Bee is the owner of Freshtopia VA located on 35th St in the Park Place area of Norfolk. Freshtopia is an anchor in the community. When the pandemic hit in March, Freshtopia and DJ Bee sprung into action to help the community.  On Friday March 13, the Library in Park Place closed and people were being laid off. By Sunday March 15th, Freshtopia had set up a community computer in the store where residents of the neighborhood could come and file for services including unemployment, social services, job searching, or to communicate with educators. Furthermore, Freshtopia partnered with the Civic League and Norfolk Police Department to provide free cotton washable masks to residents of the Park Place Community.

Freshtopia and DJ Bee also sponsor a community bike ride that starts and ends at their location. The bike ride started in May 2019, paused briefly during the pandemic, and picked back up in June. Most of the riders live outside of the Park Place and Norfolk Community. This past weekend 45 riders participate participated in the event. The bike ride uses the bike lanes in Norfolk and the Elizabeth River Trail and is about 10 miles through the city. It promotes a sense of family and community, while promoting living a healthy lifestyle and reducing our carbon footprint, as they are trying to bring attention to the Climate Change issue.

Freshtopia recently received a grant from HRT Traffix that included bike racks and a bike repair station that will be installed on 35th St.  DJ Bee is also an employee of IHeart Media for 23 year and his radio shows that can be heard on 92.1 FM and 102.9 FM, are broadcasted from the radio station which is set up inside the store. DJ Bee was featured in the Pilot for keeping people upbeat during the pandemic with music. Residents in the community can stop in daily to watch and listen to him broadcast his show live. Freshtopia is a destination location and people all over the country, lovingly known as Freshians, come and visit the store regularly.

Freshtopia is a spin-off of Fresh Radio which is an internet radio station. Fresh Radio was launched on 10/10/10 and will be celebrating its 10th Birthday this October. Freshtopia was also recognized as 1 of 19 black owned record stores in the country.

Click here and watch Ain’t Your Mama’s Heat Wave, the first feature length production from Hip Hop Caucus’ Think 100% FILMS. It is a gripping story of communities in the city of Norfolk and the seven cities of the Hampton Roads region of Virginia that are grappling with the climate crisis and the present day consequences of historic injustices and inequality.