There’s a whole lotta slurping going on in smoothie country

Some students find the whirring blenders a distraction from their study time.

by Derrick Biney

If students have had trouble walking around the east side of Coffman Union lately, it’s because of one thing.

Since its opening last week, Jamba Juice has attracted hundreds of students to its juice stand, as Coffman Union attracted many students to the building after undergoing renovations.

Jamba Juice was created in 1990 to provide consumers with a healthy, nutritious fruit drink. The business has grown to more than 500 stores nationwide, with locations in airports and college campuses, according to its Web site.

Coffman was able to work with University Dining Services to secure a partnership with Jamba Juice to bring the business to campus.

The emergence of the juice stand brings memories to Krystal Travis, a first-year human ecology student who has been hooked on Jamba Juice since ninth grade at Henry Sibley High School in Minneapolis.

“After we got out of school, we went to Jamba Juice before we had track practice,” Travis said.

Although she loves to eat fruit, Travis said she is not able to get enough servings, so she likes that she is able to get them through a Jamba Juice smoothie.

Journalism sophomore Nyssa Gesch, a transfer student from Boston University, said she was exposed to Jamba Juice through her friends in Boston and seeing the juice stand in Coffman Union made her “really excited.”

First-year chemistry student Sophia Bove said students are able to get “a meal in a cup” at Jamba Juice.

Bove, who is a Jamba Juice employee, transferred from the Edina store, which she had worked at since October, because working at Coffman better fits her schedule.

One of the highlights of her day is working at Jamba Juice, Bove said. She said she loves interacting with people and making sure the customer is satisfied and happy.

Bove said it gets frustrating for her at times when the stand runs out of products or if people are not doing their tasks effectively at a workstation.

“If we mess up a smoothie, we have to hurry up to make it over,” she said. “Sometimes we bump into each other in the small workstation.”

Bove said she gets so excited when she see the crowds of people come by that she does “a victory dance.”

Bove said the healthy aspect of the drink seems most appealing to students.

Sociology junior Jennifer Rosengren said she has always loved Jamba Juice and it sometimes is her “motivation for studying.”

“I love fruit drinks and it’s nice to have something better (to drink) than water, Kool-Aid and sugar,” she said.

Some students said the new Jamba Juice stand, which is in the vicinity of the commuter lounge, is a hindrance.

First-year political science student Derek Fennern goes to the commuter lounge in Coffman every day before class, sometimes to study or to wait for the bus, he said.

Fennern said it’s “been a little hard to concentrate” because of the constant noise from blenders nearby.

English junior Sacha Orozco said the noise from blenders does not distract her and actually helps her study.

“When it’s quiet I think of other things, so the noise helps me concentrate,” she said.

Even though “smoothies are not her thing,” Orozco said she continues to go to the commuter lounge every now and then to study, despite the blender sounds.