Smoothie business expands to new kinds of locations to offer all-natural smoothies to new customers
Connecticut travelers have been hungry for healthier food options for years. Last month, Robeks delivered.
Robeks opened the first of many planned travel plaza locations in late April as part of a major renovation of the Interstate 95 plaza in Milford, CT, where officials had wanted to expand food options for years. A Connecticut Department of Transportation survey in 2008 found that “visitors prefer more food variety and want a more health-conscious menu” at the plazas.
Robeks soon learned just how much motorists were clamoring for healthy food.
“People had been coming in for many weeks to see if we were open yet,” says Katrina Bickford, the area developer for Robeks in Connecticut. “We had customers who would walk up and down the travel plaza, and the only reason they were here was because of Robeks. When we opened, people were thrilled.”
The travel center location is just one example of our efforts to bring premium fruit smoothies to more customers by opening locations in new settings. Since our founding in 1996, most of our 120 locations have been in shopping centers. Recently, though, Robeks has expanded on college campuses and added drive-through locations.
The travel plaza location could be a model for the nation.
“We hope our success here will lead to Robeks stores opening in other service plazas in other parts of the country,” Katrina says. “Smoothies are a perfect road trip food, because they are so portable.”
The travel plaza location opened just ahead of another non-traditional location for Robeks: This summer, the company plans to open a second location at California State University Long Beach, where the smoothie franchise has developed a faithful following among students. The second location will be in an appropriate place, the university’s student recreation and wellness center.
Robeks is working to serve travelers in other ways, too. Since 2010, we’ve opened our first two drive-through locations — one each in Fullerton, CA, and Prescott Valley, AZ. We’re always looking for opportunities for places where we can offer a healthy food option. We’re aiming for another: airports.
Airports around the country are renovating their concessions (if you travel a lot, you’ve probably noticed). Just like in Connecticut, airport officials are responding to popular demand for more variety and quality in their food options, and what could be better for a hungry, thirsty traveler on the go than an all-natural meal in a cup?