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Sam Whittier, Jamba Juice Owner

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Sam Whittier and Cindy Townsend
Sam Whittier and Cindy Townsend

Sam Whittier is the owner of three Jamba Juice stores–Nashville, Cool Springs and the newest¬†location in Downtown Franklin at 504 W Main St. We talked with Sam about how he got involved with the Jamba Juice franchise and what products Jamba Juice offers.

1

You’re a pretty young guy to be owning not just one but now 3 Jamba Juices. How and why did you choose Jamba Juice?
I actually worked for Jamba Juice in high school in my hometown of Idaho Falls, ID during high school. So I was familiar with the brand. I got my BS in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University, and was accepted into a PhD program at Vanderbilt in Nuclear Environmental Engineering. During my first year of studies at Vandy, we (our family) just had the idea to start Jamba Juice. We actually thought “you know what would do great in Downtown Franklin? A Jamba Juice!” and that started the ball rolling. Although I was an engineer-in-training, I have always had an itch to work more with people in the business environment. We contacted Jamba, and they approved us as franchisees. I am partnered with Cindy Townsend, my mother-in-law. I run the day-to-day operations and she advises at the top level. So we love the brand, what they stand for, and what they promote: inspiring and simplifying healthy living. Although our initial idea was to open in Downtown Franklin, due to real estate opportunities, we opened our Elliston Place and Cool Springs locations before Downtown. But we are excited to have converted Cindy’s old shop, Town’s End General Store, into a historic-themed Jamba Juice.

2

Why cold press juices?
Actually, our made-to-order juices aren’t cold-pressed. Jamba has a line of bottled cold-pressed juices that will be released in our stores later this year. Our made to order juices are created with our centrifugal juicers and our orange-pressing machine. We offer both types of juices – pure juice and juice blends. Pure juice means that all of the ingredients are juiced, so there is no fiber in what you are drinking. This allows your body to absorb the nutrients more quickly, and can offer more of a “jolt” of antioxidants and nutrients directly into your body. We also have many juice blends, which is where we combine juiced ingredients with others that we blend in with our powerful blenders. For example, our Tropical Greens juice has juiced apples, and then we blend in fresh spinach and pineapple. The advantage to these blends is that you are still getting all of the fiber from the spinach and pineapple, and you’re not losing the nutrients that would be removed as pulp if we were juicing those ingredients. But we blend them so thoroughly that it is still a juice consistency, and the fibers are so pulverized that it is easier for your body to digest them than if you were to just eat the spinach and pineapple. Keeping the fiber also helps the juice make you feel more full and satisfied, which can help you get away with only drinking the juice and not needing more food to supplement it to make you feel satisfied.¬†

3

What’s your favorite smoothie and why?
I bounce all over our menu, but I always end up back at our most popular smoothie, the Apple ‘n Greens. It has one serving of vegetables from the kale we blend in, and 3.5 servings of fruit, and it tastes awesome. I usually drink juice more than smoothies, and the Tropical Greens juice or the Cucumber Orange Cooler are my favorites. They are just so refreshing, especially in the summer. And the Tropical Greens gets me my whole daily allotment of fruits and vegetables in just one cup!

4

What else do you do besides smoothies and juices?
One of our newest features is our Energy Bowls. We have an Acai Bowl and a Chunky Strawberry Bowl. These are basically a thicker smoothie-type base with whole frozen fruit in the bottom, and we top it with fresh toppings like coconut, strawberries, blueberries, granola, and honey. They are an amazing meal and a real hit with our guests. We also offer amazing oatmeal (I don’t even like oatmeal, but I eat the Jamba oatmeal all the time!) that you can top with all our fresh toppings, as well as Breakfast Wraps, Flatbreads, various baked goods, and Toasted Bistro Sandwiches. A juice and a food item make a great meal and you can usually stay below 500 calories and feel completely satisfied!

5

Are there plans to continue expanding in Middle Tennessee?
Of course! We get requests all the time to come to new areas. We think that the juice and smoothie market will continue to grow, and we believe that we separate ourselves from the competition with our real, whole ingredients. You won’t find added sugar as an ingredient in our stores, no preservatives, and we focus on using whole food, not purees. People are paying much more attention to the quality of the ingredients in what they eat, so we think we can definitely grow in Middle Tennessee.

Visit the newest Jamba Juice store at 504 W Main St. and follow them on Facebook.

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