For years, Jamba Juice has been running the smoothie-show in the United States. Now, it’s Canada’s turn. Thanks to the family that brought us Yogen Fruz and Yogurty’s, Jamba Juice is moving north, and Toronto will be its testing grounds.
After starting the Yogen Fruz franchise 25 years ago and bringing back the venerable Yogurty’s name in May, Serruya brothers Mike, Simon, Jack and Aaron thought it was time to take on a third healthy snacking organization. With their father being the largest Jamba Juice shareholder in America, it was a no-brainer that the smoothie joint would be their next project.
“It all started because we saw a trend that consumers cared about what they ate,” says Aaron Serruya of their first venture, Yogen Fruz.
Yogurty’s, the DIY frozen yogurt store, was their second major franchise, which has been expanding rapidly since its first opening in May with six locations in Ontario (more are on the way) and two in Mexico. But the Serruya brothers have no intention of slowing down.
Since 1995, Jamba Juice has been providing Americans with a wide variety of fruit smoothies and freshly-squeezed juices. With the option of adding a “boost” (sound familliar?), the smoothies are said to help enhance energy and keep you healthy. The chain also sells breakfast items such as oatmeal and flat breads, both of which will be available in the Toronto stores.
The first Canadian Jamba Juice will open in three to four weeks in The Annex, at 495 Bloor Street West, in the former home of Walk in Wok Out. The second will be in Yorkdale mall. While these two locations are the only confirmed ones to date, “there is not a province we will not be in over the next 24 months,” Aaron says. The Canadian locations will be identical to their American counterparts.
Aaron says that Jamba’s fruit smoothies are addictive and that people are anticipating their arrival. “Customers will come everyday. It will be an alternative to coffee.”
With other smoothie chains such as Booster Juice and Jugo Juice already being popular amongst Torontonians, Aaron still believes that there is a large Jamba market. “When you look at Booster or Jugo, they were inspired by Jamba. Jamba is the Godfather.”