With fall term in full swing, two new eateries at the University of Oregon are out to prove that fast food can still be healthy. Tailored for busy schedules, Jamba and Shake Smart offer blended drinks and take-away food options.
Jamba opened on Oct. 1 and is the newest retail tenant at the Erb Memorial Union, in the ground floor space formally occupied by DipIt. Steve Foltz, the franchise owner based in Tigard, says the store — his 23rd location in the state and his first on a college campus — is the smallest he’s opened.
“Right now we have a smoothies-only menu, because of the size of the space,” Foltz said. “We may expand our menu to include bowls, once we have a better idea of the volume we can serve.”
Dan Geiger, assistant director for retail services in the EMU, said they looked at a number of options to occupy the vacant space. The versatility of smoothies make them a hunger-curbing option throughout the day, he said, from breakfast to a late-night snack.
“Jamba is a great addition to our lineup,” Geiger said. “We heard from students that they wanted smoothies, and it’s really been a hit.”
The Duck Store at the Student Recreation Center has also mixed it up, converting the former café area into a new Shake Smart. Its Sept. 17 soft opening was followed by a grand opening Oct. 2, when nearly 2,000 free shakes were served to students, faculty and staff.
Shake Smart offers freshly blended protein shakes and smoothies, create-your-own bowls, breakfast items and wraps — all of which can serve as post-workout meals in themselves.
Self-order kiosks at the store entry allow customers to log in with their phone number, choose a past order or try something new. There’s also an emphasis on customization to fit a variety of dietary needs and preferences.
According to their company’s website, their menu focuses on protein because of its nutritional benefits, including building muscle, increasing focus and decreasing fatigue.
Shake Smart was founded by two students at San Diego State University who had made their own protein shakes, because they couldn’t find easy, healthy options. They opened their first store in the school’s student recreation center, and Shake Smart was born.
Locating a Shake Smart within the UO rec center is an ideal alignment of shared goals for overall wellness, said Trish Dorman, associate director for business services for the Department of Physical Education and Recreation.
“At PE and Rec, we encourage active, balanced lives,” Dorman said, “so by fueling lifestyles on the go, Shake Smart fits well with what we’re all about. We’re excited to have them here.”
So far the most popular Smart Shake flavor appears to be “A Perfect 10,” according to Dorman, who added, “My favorite is Carrot Cake — it tastes like fall.”
Jamba is open 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.
Shake Smart is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekend.