It gives me special pleasure to go on a Sunday afternoon walk on San Francisco’s Embarcadero. Our destination was Pier 39, but for all the glory of the bay it is easy to say the journey is the destination. Pier 39 is a festival marketplace with stores, restaurants and fun-filled attractions for kids and adults alike. I enjoyed the fresh air, the sun, the bright colors of the store fronts, the diversity of the faces in the crowd, the street performers, and the sea lions clustered and sunning themselves at the far end of the pier!
Seriously, I was there for a smoothie. The place of choice; Maui Wowi Hawiian Coffee and Smoothies. Not too crowded, but it was obvious that a constant stream of return customers and / or impulse shoppers thought likewise as myself!
Maui Wowi. The ambiance itself made me just want to sit and enjoy myself even though at the moment I hadn’t even ordered yet. Bright colors and lots of entertainment for the eyes. What to buy, what to buy? Interestingly, the guys who work there seemed to be very comfortable there. So many jobs in the world can be mundane and repetitive ~ but at Maui Wowi, it was as if these guys were enjoying their day as much as any of the tourists.
Smoothies are their “signature beverages.” I had a black raspberry and boy am I glad for it. My mouth hasn’t had a splash of flavor like that in a while. And the blend? I chose “Smart Blend.” It is specifically designed to increase oxygen to the brain. Not that I suddenly felt capable of going on Jeopardy or The Cash Cab after drinking it, but an increase in alertness after hoofing it around the Embarcadero was a pleasant jolt. It added the boost without changing the flavor of the drink.
“Smoothies are a great accent to the coffee line,” Maui Wowi states on their website. “They are a super snack and the perfect pick-me-up for the mid- and late-day consumers. Coffee sales will capture the morning crowds and smoothies will capture the afternoon and evening crowds. Everyone will be satisfied throughout the entire day!” Worked for me.
What exactly is a Maui Wowi Smoothie? “For 23 years, our all-natural, vitamin-packed, non-fat, Fresh Fruit Smoothies have been served throughout the country. Pre-packaged to ensure the integrity of Maui Wowi Hawaiian, our fresh fruit blends are a combination of our secret non-fat yogurt recipe with the best in tropical fruit purees and fresh fruit juices. We mix ’em to order wikiwiki with a fresh banana. They have been a cult favorite for decades. You gotta get one,“ their website goes on to say, and I heartily endorse that!
But all this information is for tourists like me. What about if you yourself are considering opening a franchise? Take a look at the info they share on the web: “Smoothies are where specialty coffees were 20 years ago, which at the time was a growing but also very fragmented segment. U.S. retail sales of smoothies surpassed $1.6 billion in 2005 and are expected to reach $2.7 billion by 2010.”