A new smoothie shop has opened in Liberty Lake.
And nowadays inside you can find former Philadelphia Phillies and Central Valley High School shortstop Kevin Stocker fielding nutritional advice instead of pop flies.
Stocker and his wife, Brooke, both originally from the Inland Northwest now living in Liberty Lake, opened Emerald City Smoothie in mid-September. Plans are already under way for their second location to open in April in Coeur d’Alene and another eventually near the Gonzaga University campus.
“We’re different from other smoothie stores,” says Kevin Stocker, 38, who hung up his professional baseball glove after the 2000 season. “What separates us from them is that we’re really more of a nutritional store. We’re about health and wellness.”
Emerald City Smoothie aims to provide the rewards of a healthy nutrition drink without compromising taste, he said, by the smooth blending of fresh fruits and other flavor-packed ingredients with nutritional supplements.
The menu features 40-plus recipes designed to help customers reach their health or lifestyle goals by offering smoothies in various categories: Treat My Body, Bulk Me Up, Help Me Lose Weight, No-Fat, Low Sugar, Boost My Immune System, Meal Replacements and a Kids’ Menu.
Other ingredients, called boosters, also can be added to individual drinks to custom-fit a person’s needs and include such items as amino acids, protein and immune-builders.
Drinks are available in 16-, 24- and 32-ounce sizes. Cost for a 24-oz. drink is about $4.75 and most have less than 400 calories and four grams of fat.
Stocker says he hopes to educate customers about drink options and supplements to help them reach their lifestyle and fitness goals. He’s already talked with several people, some looking to bulk up and opt for more protein; others seeking to lose weight and choose the ingredients to help boost their metabolism; still others come seeking more energy and ask for a vitamin boost.
“Not all smoothies are created equally – consumers need to read the fine print and make sure that they’re not getting a novelty beverage full of sugar and fats. If it is not listed on our labels, it is not in our smoothies,” Stocker said.
The store also features a retail section that includes a variety of proteins, vitamin supplements and healthy snacks.
Emerald City Smoothie is a Seattle-based franchise that began in 1996 and has 60 locations across the United States.
Stocker says opening a smoothie shop was a family decision.
“My kids have always loved smoothies and they mentioned we should open one, so I went online and searched,” he said, adding that the growing company fit the bill because it was based in the Northwest and its main focus was health and nutrition.