For someone who'd had only one smoothie in her life - and a homemade one, at that - owning the Fruit Shack Smoothies and Yogurt is a notable accomplishment.
But Jessica Burns, the shop's new owner, has become a smoothie aficionado since she bought the Oro Valley business with her husband, Jared, in late 2012.
"I've tried all of them," said Jessica, 34. Plus, "I kind of make up my own every day."
Jessica, who worked in the food industry for about 20 years, had long dreamed of owning a business. When she applied for a job at the smoothie shop at 10785 N. Oracle Road, the manager told her it was for sale.
"We were nervous about setting up our own business," said Jared, 35, who'd been a pilot in Houston. "We took the gamble."
In the several months that they have owned the Fruit Shack, they've kept many features but also made additions. You can still buy "Tropical Treats" and "Shack Shakes" and create your own smoothie, but now you can indulge in a parfait or pick up a "Green Monster," which includes peaches, bananas, spinach, and carrot and peach juice.
The store also offers wheatgrass shots made from locally grown, organic grass.
"It's as fresh as you can get," Jared said. "We can cherry-pick the best stuff."
Fruit Shack smoothies are made with juices and sorbet, not ice cream. Customers also have the option of nondairy smoothies, low-fat shakes and nonfat frozen yogurt.
"We have a fabulous product," said worker Tina Casadei, 50. "(It) makes me proud to serve this kind of high-quality product."
Other new options include soft pretzels and snacks such as gluten-free chips, Greek yogurt bars and mixed nuts.
One thing they've removed from the menu is hot drinks, since the shop is next door to a Starbucks.
"We are a small business, not a franchise," Jared said. "We've got to compete with these guys."
Within a mile radius of the store in each direction is a big business, so Jared markets to them. The shop also takes its mobile smoothie van to private parties, school football games and other events.
"It's great for local community events," Jared said. "It's a little shop on wheels."
While owning a small business has its difficulties in a world filled with brand names, Jessica said she likes doing things her own way: "What I serve to people is what I like to eat and enjoy."
If you go
• What: Fruit Shack Smoothies and Yogurt.
• Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
• Where: 10785 N. Oracle Road.
• Info: Call 297-8122 or go to www.fruitshacksmoothies.com online.
Ashley Powell is a University of Arizona student who is an apprentice at the Star. Contact her at 573-4117 or firstname.lastname@example.org