A healthier choice for students and faculty

Students stand in line to order smoothies at YSU’s newest food venue, Jamba Juice. Student response to the smoothie joint has been positive. Photo by Alyssa Pawluk/ The Jambar
Students stand in line to order smoothies at YSU’s newest food venue, Jamba Juice. Student response to the smoothie joint has been positive. Photo by Alyssa Pawluk/ The Jambar

On Tuesday, students eagerly waited in line at Chartwell’s Jamba Juice to order healthy refreshments like smoothies and oatmeal.  Jamba Juice is the newest food option in Youngstown State University’s Kilcawley Center.
Tom Totterdale, food services director for Chartwells, decided to include the franchise in Kilcawley as a result of student feedback.
“It unofficially came to the proposal by Chartwells in May of last year. We met with the student organizations like SGA and housing to try and see what students wanted,” Totterdale said. “The overall things we kept hearing were healthier options like smoothies. As a company, we had just started to build a relationship with Jamba Juice and it was one of our franchises to bring in.”
Luke Politsky, vice president of University Affairs for Student Government, said that Jamba Juice is a fun dining venue for students.
“We didn’t have a Jamba Juice around here locally, and since it was brought in, the employees were enthusiastic toward the students and they make it a personal experience for them,” Politsky said. “They sing and call the names of different students to make it fun.”
Totterdale said he feels that Jamba Juice is a relaxed atmosphere that invites students and faculty to try its products.
“It’s a fun environment — upbeat — and it’s a good fit for the university. The staff likes to sing and get the students to chant along with them, and the students seem to really like it,” Totterdale said. “Once you try the smoothies, you are going to get hooked.”
Students at YSU responded positively after trying smoothies at Jamba Juice. Crystal Alford, nursing major, said that she applied to the establishment after going there for the first time Friday.
“The workers are friendly and it’s a nice place to be around, even if you’re not getting a drink,” Alford said. “I even put my application in Jamba Juice, because I liked it so much.”
Clara Wilson, education major, said that her experience at Jamba Juice was pleasant, and she would return to have another smoothie.
“Everyone working behind the counter was nice, and it was cool when they called my name. I like the Mango-A-Go-Go smoothie the best, and I will come back to get another one,” Wilson said.
Totterdale explained that Jamba Juice offers students a healthier food choice, and a nutrition guide is available behind the counter.
“The recipes are all 100 percent fruit or veggie juice, and drinking one smoothie allows you to get your entire fruit and veggie count in for the day,” Totterdale said. “There is also a nutrition guide that students can look at with information on calories, sugar and the different nutritional requirements in each individual smoothie.”
In addition to its smoothies, Jamba Juice offers oatmeal and nutritional increases added to the smoothies called ‘boosts.’
“They are steel-cut oats — healthier than regular oatmeal — and you can get different toppings on it like cinnamon, apples or bananas,” Totterdale said. “You can add a Vitamin C Boost, an energy boost, a 3G Boost and more.”
Totterdale said that Jamba Juice has its own website, available on the YSU site, and it’s incorporating new ideas like student participation.
“We did a soft open on the first day, and printed 100 coupons the first day to students and different organizations, and ended up printing 50 more once more people came,” he said. “We have a new website that students can look at, and we’re actually going to have students record themselves singing on it.”
Jamba Juice offers 24 different flavors of smoothies with any kind of combination of the consumer’s choice in three different sizes. Jamba Juice’s hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.