Tropical Delights

Tropical Smoothie offers up healthy choices that taste great!
STORY BY KASS FINCHER

PHOTOS COURTESY TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE

Eat better, feel better. That’s the guiding philosophy for Tropical Smoothie Cafe, located in the Walmart Plaza in Southport. But healthy doesn’t need to be boring, and the cafe proves that – combining flavorful tropical ingredients to produce smoothies with names like “blimey limey” and “rockin’ raspberry.”
Franchise owner Presley Reeves describes what he enjoys about the business. “The concept of ‘eat better, feel better’ is more than just being healthy. We offer bold flavors that reflect the tropical fruits and vegetables that are the foundation of our food. People are looking for alternatives to burgers and fries; we’re on the leading edge of where consumer tastes are going.” Reeves bought the franchise in December 2015. It is one of about 600 stores across the country, including two in Wilmington and one to open soon in Leland. The original store was in Florida; today the headquarters is in Atlanta. The chef there creates the winning combinations of ingredients to produce the smoothies, wraps, flatbreads and sandwiches that make Tropical Smoothie Cafe such a popular destination. The 25+ smoothie choices include classics like “mango magic,” superfoods with antioxidants like “acai berry boost,” supercharged options with added protein like “triple berry oat” and indulgent options like “bahama mama” (without
the rum of course). All the smoothies are 24 ounces and can be supplemented with fresh add-ins or supplements. Reeves points to the “island green” – with spinach, kale, mango, pineapple and banana – as probably their most popular smoothie. Every couple of months, Tropical Smoothie Cafe introduces a new smoothie as a special promotional product. But the flavorful options don’t stop with smoothies. Flatbreads, wraps, sandwiches and salads offer vegetarian and gluten-free options. The thai chicken salad, jamaican jerk chicken and totally turkey wraps are some of the most popular. Breakfast options featuring “all-american omelet” and “southwest omelet” wraps can be purchased all day long. And Reeves points to the customer-centered approach that Tropical Smoothie offers. “We work with people who have dietary concerns to offer vegetable proteins, what we call ‘beyond meat.’” For convenience and to keep you coming back, the cafe has an app that customers can download. You can order
in advance and even charge your purchase directly to your credit card. The app keeps track of the customer’s purchases and provides rewards – for every $55 spent, you get a $5 credit on your next purchase. Not only is Tropical Smoothie Cafe giving back to customers, they also give back to the community through charity fund-raisers. Currently their national effort is for Camp Sunshine, a year-round retreat in Maine for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. It is free to the families and provides medical and social support. Over the last 10 years, Tropical Smoothie Cafe stores across the country have raised over $4 million for the camp. Over the next few weeks, Tropical Smoothie Cafe will undergo a significant remodeling. Reeves says it will have more of a Miami-like vibe, with metal chairs and butcher block tables. The interior update will be fun and inviting; the food will continue to bring you a taste of the tropics right here in Southport.

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Southport Area's Culture & Events Magazine