Tropical colors, island music, healthy sandwiches, supplements and 35 types of ice cold smoothies are part of the recipe for success at Tropical Smoothie Café.
Owners Terri and Mark Ward live in Union and have found the franchise they’ve always wanted in this venture. In addition, they’re bringing 20 jobs to the community.
“We ride our bike up and get our smoothies and flatbreads when we’re at our condo in Florida,” said Terri. “We checked out the Tropical Smoothie’s franchise and got excited about it.”
Tropical Smoothie Café opened this week at 12162 S. Route 47.
The cafe is a great professional mix for the couple, since Terri loves food and considers herself to be the people person, while she says her husband is more “of the business mind.”
Because they’ve attended church in Huntley and have spent years shopping there, they’re familiar with what’s available — and what’s lacking – in town.
“There are not a lot of healthy food options in Huntley,” Terri said. “We feel we can provide it. We can provide jobs and a great atmosphere.”
New to the restaurant business, the Wards are eager for the public to learn the café offers much more than smoothies.
“We have a great line of food,” Terri said. “Bistro sandwiches, toasted wraps, salads, soups, breakfast wraps, snacks, kids foods … and we have little huts, flowered tables, oil paintings of tropical lush scenes. We want to create an experience.”
The restaurant, which will also serve breakfast wraps, will be open at 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. It seats between 32 and 40 people, and outdoor tables will be offered, seasonally.
Healthy ingredients and preparation are key to the cafe's mission, she said.
“Gourmet cheeses, fresh fruit, not a lot of syrups and juices,” Ward said. “And we have a lot of supplements, including protein for energy, and oats.”
Nothing is fried. Instead, sandwiches are toasted. And raw sugar is used, so it’s lower in calories and easier for the body to process, she explained. Coffee smoothies, with chocolate and caramel, also are available for the indulgent occasion.
Smoothies start at $3.99, gourmet salads and wraps are $6.49, soup is $1.99, and the kids’ menu starts at $2.49.
Terri said the close proximity to Route 47 will be convenient for those coming in for shopping, and from the high school. A few of the top sellers for the franchise are:
- Buffalo chicken wrap — chicken, low-fat mozzarella, tomatoes, romaine, buffalo sauce, light ranch dressing on a white tortilla;
- Turkey bacon ranch bistro sandwich —turkey, bacon, Swiss, tomatoes, field greens and light ranch dressing on a toasted ciabatta roll;
- Health nut supercharged smoothie — blueberries, mango, banana, almonds and whey or soy protein.
Terri said in addition to the menu, the atmosphere is also designed to be distinct.
“We want people to feel like for a half hour or hour, they can get away to the tropics,” she said.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe's Facebook page is www.Facebook.com/TSCHuntley.