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Icing the drink business

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POSTED: August 25, 2007 5:03 a.m.
An inventive sole-proprietor named Darla Clarkson has used some creative methods to develop a called The Smooth Operator.
Even though many business owners have lost a large part of their customer base to the deployment, Clarkson has cut into this economic adversity by opening up a smoothie shop at the Newman Fitness Center on Fort Stewart.
By offering healthy and balanced smoothies, power shakes, snacks and breakfast food, she has appealed to many of the soldiers and civilians who frequent the fitness center, Clarkson said.
Her drinks and shakes offer a balance of protein and carbohydrates, and she also sells food supplements to aid her customers during their workout routines, she said.
However, to gain an edge, Clarkson and her staff (Carrie Ford and Jessica Gaskin) not only provide their patrons with the necessary fuel to enjoy a workout, but they also are trained to offer personal exercise advice to help their customers with their fitness goals, Clarkson said.
Clarkson and her staff take body fat percentage and heart rate measurements, and they keep them on file to help their customers gauge how efficient their workout routines are, she said.
The Smooth Operator has been in business for only seven weeks, yet the popularity of her shop has flourished and she plans to expand to other locations such as Hunter Fitness Center and a new gym coming to Fort Stewart, she said.
“My shop has brought some real life to this gym,” Clarkson said. “The people of the fitness center call our shop Club Newman because it has become a meeting place for those who want to enjoy a smoothie or a power shake while meeting with some of their peers.”
Besides their drinks, Clarkson’s shop also features Starbuck’s Coffee, and a free Wi-Fi connection for those who want to bring their laptops.
Clarkson also stressed The Smooth Operator is open to anyone who wants to enjoy a healthy drink or coffee.
 

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