Located on the lower level of Towers Shopping Center, Smoothie King offers a wide variety of smoothies for those looking to improve their meal choices. We sat down with one of owners, Cindy Starleigh, to learn more about their smoothies and how they can help customers achieve their goals for a healthy lifestyle.
How were you first introduced to Smoothie King?
“I was a senior project manager so I travelled almost every week to various cities such as Charlotte and St. Louis. When you travel, it is important to be healthy when you are dining out. I liked Smoothie King because they definitely offered that option.”
What made you want to open a location in Roanoke?
“My husband Rocky and I lived in Northern Virginia, but I had family members in Roanoke so we decided to move here. My husband took over our family dry cleaning business and he did that for four years while I continued to travel with my job. During that time, we realized that Roanoke didn’t offer anything like Smoothie King. It was important to us to provide something convenient that encourages people to live a healthy lifestyle.”
What inspired you to become a locally-owned part of the international franchise?
“Franchise was something that we wanted to do because it is a higher rate of success compared to if you opened a small business on your own. Smoothie King has been around since 1973, and the franchises began to open in the late 1980s. Everyone in this business loves what they do and believes in it. That was important to us, because we wanted to sell something that we believed in and had no issues marketing to our customers. For example, we wouldn’t want to encourage our customers to buy foods packed with high calories, chemicals and preservatives. We want them to be healthy.”
What makes you different from some of the other restaurants that offer smoothies?
“There are quite a few differences. First, some fast food places use flavoring liquids to create their flavors. At Smoothie King, we use real fruits and fruit juices. There are no hidden ingredients or preservatives. We also offer vegan smoothies and partner with reputable companies like Nutrition53 Lean1, Chobani, and Sun Warrior to bring the best ingredients to our customers.
Secondly, all of our smoothies are certified gluten-free. Last year, Smoothie King partnered with the NBA New Orleans Pelicans and their New Orleans stadium is now the Smoothie King Center. In order to be that level of a sponsor, our products had to be tested to make sure they were healthy and clean. The NBA spent close to eight months analyzing our ingredients to make sure there were no chemicals in them and that they were safe for the NBA players and other athletes.
Even the retail products that we carry are scrutinized to make sure they do not contain anything outside of an approved list, because we know that the products that aren’t on that list could have chemicals that are not good for athletes and people.”
Can you replace a meal with a smoothie?
“Absolutely. In fact, we are currently promoting our “Change a Meal Challenge” that will continue through the end of February. The idea is to replace one of your meals with a smoothie, and maybe even replace two meals once you are comfortable. Our smoothies have proteins, vitamins, minerals, and nutritional ingredients that you would typically look for in any type of food. Replace what you are comfortable with and stick with it to see what kind of changes you can experience. In the end, it is about putting things into your body that it needs. It’s not really about dieting, but instead making a lifestyle change you can stick with. ”
How can you help busy women (and men!) with their weight loss/health goals?
“A lot of focus is placed on how we look and losing weight. It creates additional stress that we really don’t need because we are already working and taking care of our families. Losing weight is not simple or easy. Eating healthy isn’t either, but help is available in this store. We want you to know when you are running short on time to prepare a healthy meal, Smoothie King is a great option as opposed to fast food. We even offer products that will help you make your smoothies at home to cut down on costs. We can also give you advice so you have a little less to stress about while you lose weight and get healthier.
Women tend to put their families first and themselves last, but you have to be healthy first in order to do so much for others. It’s easy to say, but doing it is harder. Little things that you can tweak can really make a difference. It all starts with what you put into your body!”
Smoothie King is open seven days a week and their staff is always ready to help you with your nutritional needs. Visit them on the lower level of Towers Shopping Center in Roanoke or go to www.smoothieking.com for more information on all of the products they offer!
P.S. Be sure to pick up a copy of our February issue–it includes a coupon for a FREE 20 oz smoothie from Smoothie King!