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All-natural smoothie stand opens for business on campus

By Andrew McFetridge
     An all-natural smoothie stand featuring different fruit fusion smoothies opened Aug. 30 between the UNF Arena and the Dottie Dorian Fitness Center.

     “It’s probably the first really, truly healthy option students have on campus,” said Becky Purser, director of recreation.

     The stand, which does not have an official name, yet, sells 16-ounce and 20-ounce portions of various fruit fusions. These fusions include mango with strawberry and banana, as well as a peach, pear and apricot blend. Another flavor consists of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries.  For an extra jolt of energy, students can add protein and vitamins to their smoothie.

     These blends will provide UNF students with a healthier choice of refreshment while traveling back and forth between campus and Lot 18 or after finishing a workout.

     “I think the peach-pear-apricot is the most underrated of all of them,” UNF student and co-owner Ryan Holm said.

     Mayes Food Services, a Jacksonville food service provider, worked in partnership with Ryan Holm and his brother Jared, a UNF alumnus, to bring the stand to life. The concept arose when the president of Mayes Inc., Mike Mayes, wanted to bring an all-natural food option to UNF students.

     “I think the campus is ready for it,” Mayes said.

     Mayes said this was just the beginning of UNF becoming a more health-conscious campus.

Ryan Holm, who works at the stand, said business has been great so far.

     Tuesdays and Thursdays seem to be the best days, he said.

     Mayes said he is pleased so far, but it may take some time for the stand to get some notoriety.  During the colder months, the stand plans to sell hot drinks to students. Future plans include providing a greater variety of healthy choices for students, such as vegan meals and other natural options.

     The stand also offers different flavors of shaved ice, such as cherry and lime, as an alternative option for sweat-soaked students.

The stand’s close proximity to the fitness center and the Arena offers a quick and healthy option for students who just finished a workout, without traveling back to the main core of the campus.

For a new food service vendor to set up shop on campus, it must go through a contract with Chartwells, the main food services vendor on campus, said David Jordan, the resident district manager for the company.

Jordan said Chartwells has a good relationship with off-campus vendors. It welcomes new vendors to campus, as long as they add something new, he said.

In the smoothie stand’s case, shaved ice was the primary product being offered, but it soon stemmed to all-natural smoothies.

     The stand is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The price for a 16-ounce smoothie is $3.50, and a 20-ounce costs $4.00. Additional protein and vitamin shots are an extra XX.50. The stand accepts credit cards and cash, but students cannot use their Osprey 1Card at the stand.

Freshens, who also offers fruit smoothies, is located at the core of Alumni Square. Freshens offers smoothies that are 21 ounces for $4.25 and the option to upgrade to 32 ounces for an additional XX.95.

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