Since bringing the Be Smoothie Cafe to life, Elizabeth Veres says it has changed her life and thinks it will change many others.
Located at 30480, boul. Lakeshore. in Willowick, Be Smoothie opened on October 21 and offers alternative and healthy fast food options with a selection of whole foods, smoothies, wraps, salads and juices. Of the many regulars who frequent Willowick’s first smoothie cafe, many families come on the weekends, something Veres didn’t expect.
“I love it because I have young kids in elementary school and my oldest is in high school,” she said. “I will definitely never have another location. This will be the only one. This is my baby, my community and the place where we live, so my biggest goal is to always be present.
“I am here because I want to be here. Be Smoothie is a lifestyle and it should be. It changed my life.
Before owning Be Smoothie, Veres graduated from college in 2017 with a degree in business management and a minor in marketing. For about 15 years, Veres worked in restaurants and that’s how she got enrolled in school, she said.
“After I graduated, I thought I should go work for an American company in an office and I did, and it wasn’t for me,” Veres said. “I needed human interaction, so I went back to restaurants and started managing. I didn’t like hours anymore. My kids were growing up and I wanted to be with them in the evenings.
With her husband being a type 1 diabetic, Veres recalls when they started doing a juice and smoothie cleanse before opening the business.
“It had helped his blood sugar tremendously,” she said. “He was able to better regulate his blood sugar. At the same time, I came to realize, thanks to this cleansing, that I had an overactive gallbladder and that I was not digesting the enzymes in meat. I quit eating meat and we incorporated smoothies into our daily routine, and many of our health issues disappeared. It has become a part of our lives. »
After working at Planet Fitness in Willowick, Veres and her husband found that when they didn’t feel like making their own smoothies at home, they had to drive to Willoughby to get them.
“On our way there and back, we kept saying we needed one closer to home,” Veres said. “We kept waiting and waiting, and no one was doing it, so I contacted the owner. Originally, we were supposed to be one of the local franchises, but we decided to create our own concept. I tried to take what I knew was popular and make a healthier version of it because it was important to me.
Originally, Be Smoothie was supposed to be located behind where it is now. In 2020, Veres asked a consulting firm to come up with a business plan and once she applied for a business loan, the coronavirus stopped everything.
“We couldn’t get loans,” she said. “If that hadn’t happened, we would actually have been in a different place. During this period the owner started doing construction on these two plots here, so once these were completed it was just when the banks started lending money again.
“Our landlord contacted me and said, ‘Instead of going to the old building, why not come to the new buildings. It’ll be right next to Starbucks and Chipotle, and you’ll have overflow. ”
When customers walk in, it’s important to Veres that they feel welcome.
“I grew up in this neighborhood and I love this community, and it’s important to me to be welcoming when people walk in,” she says. “When it comes to the menu, it’s important to me that all of our smoothies are dairy-free. Many people have difficulty digesting dairy products, which is why our yogurt is made from coconut milk. It doesn’t taste like coconut, but it is a fat-free, dairy-free probiotic yogurt. This helps with the creaminess of smoothies.
Almond milk, oat milk and pressed juices are also used for smoothies, Veres said.
“Our apple juice and our oranges are squeezed, and the pineapple juice is 100% pineapple juice,” she said. “I also wanted things to be affordable. I hate that every time we try to diet or eat healthy, it always costs more. I prefer to earn less money and be able to have clients. I’m not doing this to be rich. I would feel richer if my community was healthy and they came here to find healthy food.
Be Smoothie’s hours of operation are weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“We’ve had great feedback on the whole menu, so I think it’s probably going to stay all over the winter, and then we’ll introduce seasonal smoothies,” Veres said. “We are also preparing to launch our soups for the winter.”
Orders can be placed online through the website or through DoorDash and Uber Eats.