A West Coast health-food chain, Beyond Juice, is opening two stores Downtown this spring.
The company, based in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, sells customers a "meal in a cup," boasts founder Morris Friedman, a Chicago businessman.
He insists the Vitamin-laden formulas are more than "smoothies." The store features specialty shake-like formulas with names like Fat Burner, The Morning After, Allergy Away and Slippery When Wet.
"It's a very niche specialty store," Friedman said, adding that the store targets college-aged customers and health-conscious workers looking to "get lunch on the run."
The two Downtown stores are among 50 to open nationwide. One store will open in the skyway level of Pillsbury Center, 200 S. 6th St., by May 15, with the other in the former Firstar Building, 607 Marquette Ave.
The Beyond Juice drinks are based on a formula developed by nutrition experts at the University of Illinois, Friedman said. He said the drinks differ from smoothies in that they are more than just "ice, flavoring and some fruit."
Beyond Juice also sells gourmet sandwiches with hearty breads and salads, Friedman said.
On average, the Beyond Juices cost $3.75 and the typical salad costs $5.45.