A few months after opening, Smoothie Run’s signature products are proving to be a hit with its customers in Gilbert.
Laveen-based Marcus Moody opened the second outlet of his concept on the southeast corner of Higley and Ray roads, a stone’s throw from the Agritopia housing complex. His first Smoothie Run is in Laveen.
“People want healthful options,” Moody said. “That’s how all this came about.”
The suite housing his Gilbert location used to contain a pizzeria, Moody said.
“Prior to coming here, I asked community what would you like here, and the top three things were smoothies, pizza and sandwiches,” he said. “This is exactly what we did. We made it happen.”
Smoothie Run offers 20 fruit and vegetable smoothies in various combinations, including cucumber, carrot and grape and celery, orange and lemon (all smoothies are priced $5.50 regular and $6.50 large). Besides the refreshing beverages, it also has pizza, salads and a selection of cold and hot sandwiches including the popular spicy jerk chicken ($7.95 for 6 inches and $9.95 for 12 inches).
The latest addition to the menu is boba tea. Also called pearl or bubble tea, the drink became popular in Asian countries after it was created in the 1980s in Taiwan. Ingredients in the traditional drink are tea, milk and tapioca balls, or pearls, that float in the bottom of the drink and then are chewed when slurped up through a straw.
“We have had several customers asking about boba tea, and we want to give our customers what they want,” Moody said.
Smoothie Run also is adding several other drinks to its summer menu, including fruit-based iced teas such as raspberry, mango and peach, sweetened and unsweetened iced tea, as well as blended and frozen, iced coffee drinks.
While he hasn’t done much marketing of his restaurant so far, he has a plan in place.
“I felt that people really needed to come in and see who we are and buy into our system,” he said. “I wanted to organically see what people wanted and let them do the marketing for us for the first six months.”
About 40 percent of the restaurant’s customers order through Uber Eats, which is proving to be a good stream of revenue for him.
Moody, who has operated restaurants for 20 years, is also a marketing manager for Dunkin Donuts in the Western region. Previously, he held a similar role for Subway and at another sandwich place in Nebraska.
Moody and his wife, who works in behavioral health, moved to Laveen from Nebraska because of its farmland.
“Now it’s grown; it’s not rural anymore,” he said.
While he discounts moving to Gilbert anytime soon, Moody is taken up by the town’s character and economic development.
“This is an up-and-coming area,” he said. “I’ve always loved Gilbert. I go downtown all the time.
“It’s a great community. We knew it was up and coming. We wanted to be there because we’re up and coming as well. It just all fit very well.”
Smoothie Run is at 1633 S. Higley Road, Gilbert. Details: 480-279-1011 or smoothierun.com