Weber State University’s Shepherd Union Building might have another mainstream business occupying it by the next fall semester. Jamba Juice is currently in negotiations with Sodexo and the SUB to set up shop in place of Freshens near the south entrance of the building.
“It’s a proposal that we’re taking a hard looking at, and looking at what’s the best direction,” said Bill Fruth, the director of the SUB. “Jamba Juice is certainly a good product, and that’s why we’re considering it.”
Negotiations are still ongoing and no contracts have been signed yet. The reasons for possibly bringing Jamba Juice to campus include high consumer demand and appreciation for the product, Fruth said.
The new plan hasn’t been finalized yet, but negotiations between Jamba Juice, Sodexo — which provides WSU’s food services — and the SUB’s administration are under way. If approved, the new Jamba Juice would open this coming fall semester and replace the Freshens that is currently located near the south entrance of the SUB on the west side.
Fruth, explained that, while the proposal is still being looked at, there was serious consideration amongst the negotiators to put a Jamba Juice in the SUB. He explained that the reasoning for the change was that there would be higher customer turnout for the new enterprise.
“I think it’s just consumer preference in general, from a market perspective,” Fruth said.
Sophomore Michael Vuong did have some reservations about the change. He said he had only been to Jamba Juice once in the past and wasn’t sure if they would provide the drinks he normally consumes.
“I normally purchase a hot chocolate where that cafe is,” he said. “So I don’t know if Jamba Juice is going to be serving the same things.”
However, Vuong did say he enjoyed the product he bought at Jamba Juice in the past. He also said he felt the new beverages would bring in more students. He pointed out that there currently aren’t any Jamba Juices nearby, and that adding one to WSU’s campus would provide a draw for some people.
“Normally there’s not a Jamba Juice around here,” he said. “You have to go out to Riverdale just to purchase one of their drinks.”
The familiarity of the Jamba Juice brand amongst students was also a point made by WSU sophomore Madison Lemelle, who never thought to buy anything from Freshens in the past, but said she would be likely to purchase a beverage from Jamba Juice because she has previously had their products and enjoyed them.
“I’ve been there and I know about it,” Lemelle said. “I’ve had stuff their before.”
Fruth’s explanation for why the proposal is being considered mirrored some of the comments made by WSU students. He said he wanted to make it clear that, while nothing has been decided yet, administration officials and Sodexo are putting a lot of consideration into the decision.