SUMMIT, NJ - Heidi Law spent more than two decades in the corporate sector, focusing on data analytics. But, less than 24 hours from opening the doors as owner of Smoothie King in Summit, she is going bananas.
Not bananas in the frenetic sense, but in a literal mode, as in she is looking for her delivery of bananas. Everything else in her gleaming new enterprise, including the proprietor herself, is ready to rock.
Law knows a thing or two about competition, having been a member of the vaunted University of Connecticut women's basketball program coached by legend Geno Auriemma. She was on the squad that reached the 1991 Final Four in New Orleans.
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Coincidentally, New Orleans happens to be the home base of Smoothie King, a brand that was founded in 1973 with a vision to be an integral part of every health and fitness plan by providing a knowledgeable environment and specialized product offering that makes it easy and enjoyable to reach individual goals. There are now more than 850 Smoothie King locations, but just a handful in New Jersey.
Every Smoothie King smoothie is expertly blended with real fruit and fruit juice, nuts or veggies, plus the high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more to help one reach their individual goals. The smoothies contain no High Fructose Corn Syrup. No Trans Fat, and no ingredients prohibited by any regulatory lists monitored by the NSF.
The brand's vision is important to Law, who was looking for a challenge and a change of culture after 17 years at Chubb, "making sure that it was a business that allowed me to be involved with kids, offered healthier alternatives, and afforded opportunities for community involvement."
Law's journey to the Smoothie King ownership and Summit began with the Basking Ridge resident having developed a true interest in the brand from her frequent visits to the Smoothie King in Warren, where she developed a rapport with the owner there.
A visit to Smoothie King headquarters and interaction with other location owners cemented her thoughts to move forward and, almost a year to the day later, the Summit location has opened.
Smoothie King's menu consists of smoothies, supplements, enhancers, and snacks. The smoothies are appropriately grouped into five categories:
Slim Blends - Blended to help you slim down, burn fat, get lean or reduce calories.
Wellness Blends - Blended to help one strengthen immunity, balance their diet or simply feel better.
Fitness Blends - Blended to help one get toned, build muscle, last longer or recover faster.
Take a Break Blends - Blended to help one take a break, reward themselves or simply enjoy the day.
Kids Cups - Blended to make kids happy and healthy.
The smoothie 'recipes' are all handcrafted by Smoothie King 'blendologists', with every one "blended with a purpose." The smoothies' names are as creative as the ingredients that comprise them.
Up for something from the Slim Blends menu? How about a Greek Yogurt Pineapple Mango, which includes Pineapples, Mangoes, Oikos Greek Nonfat Yogurt, Bananas, Passion Fruit Juice Blend, Pineapple Mango Juice Blend, Protein Blend, Nonfat Milk, Fiber Blend, and Electrolyte Mix.
Fitness Blend favorites include The Gladiator -- available with vanilla, chocolate or strawberry protein powder -- and The Activator Pineapple -- with Pineapple, Apple Juice, Coconut Water, Gladiator Protein Powder, and Bananas.
Wellness Blend choices include the Carrot Kale Dream, featuring Carrots, Kale, Bananas, Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Vanilla Protein Blend, while Take a Break Blend tempters include the Raspberry Collider, with Bananas, Raspberry Sorbet, Raspberry Puree, Orange Juice, and Electrolyte Mix.
For kids, how about a Choc-A-Laka, with Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, Cocoa, and Kids Multi-Vitamin Enhancer.
Speaking of 'kids' Law has hired a dozen and a-half youngish folks to staff her store and, while prepping to open and training her new team has been a bit exhausting, she says working with teenagers and early twenty-somethings has been "one of her biggest joys."
"About half of our team is from Summit, and for many of them it is either their first job in food service or even their first job overall," she says. "One of things I am trying to impart to them is that work doesn't have to be something dreaded or something you just do -- you can find passion and fun in your job and that makes you better at that job."
A mom with two daughters, ages 10 and 2, Law says her wife Dawna and kids have been 100% on-board with her decision to exit the 'traditional' corporate world and enter the Smoothie King family -- with one exception. "My oldest daughter, Abby, has her own business card with 'CEO' on it but -- up until now -- she would rather go to the Warren store because she could get a smoothie there and we weren't open in Summit yet."
Smoothie King smoothies are prices start at $5.50, and the Summit location -- located at 462 Springfield Avenue -- is open Monday - Friday, from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Saturday, from 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.; and Sunday, from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Smoothie King Summit offers catering for business, school, and health related events and functions and, for consumers, Healthy Rewards, where consumers can earn points on every purchase which can be redeemed for free and discounted smoothies, get exclusive offers and discounts, exclusive access to new products, and bonus points for friend requests.
For more information, visit Smoothie King Summit's Facebook page at facebook.com/smoothiekingsummit.