Officially opening Wednesday, the owners of Green Berry Smoothies intended to offer free samples Tuesday, but their new customers wanted more than just a taste and the Rahms were happy to oblige.
Within two hours around noon on Tuesday, roughly 30 people stopped into the new shop tucked between a Subway and a Cost Cutters at 2933 New Pinery Road in Portage, many putting in full orders. Galina Sowls of Portage said she’s been waiting for it open since someone brought the menu to the bank where she works.
“I’m like, I have to stop here,” Sowls said, laughing. Asked about the flavor of her smoothie, she said, “It’s really good; I really like it. It almost — it really tastes like ice cream, but it makes me feel better that it’s healthier.”
Sowls said she’s glad to have a smoothie and juice bar in the area.
“I think we need something like this here in Portage, so I’m excited,” she said.
Married couple Angie and Stig Rahm started working on the business in October.
It officially opens Wednesday with a menu of smoothies, crushed fruit bowls, a variety of shakes, coffee and tea.
“We’ve been talking about doing smoothies for quite a while, but we wanted to make sure it was all natural, clean, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners, no antibiotics in the whey, no hormones,” Stig said, “and when we found the products that we thought would work, we decided to do this.”
Angie said high-quality ingredients and people’s health are her first priorities. The crushed fruit in their smoothies are picked fresh and then flash frozen, she said. She also operates naturopathic clinics in Janesville, Madison and Sun Prairie.
“When we decided to do this, we searched high and low for the products and the companies that we want to align ourselves with to make sure that we are offering the absolute best quality. Most people aren’t even going to eat this well at home,” she said.
Customer Emily Zimmerman, a dietitian who lives in Baraboo but works in Portage, said she appreciates the business’ emphasis on nutrition and high-quality ingredients.
“I hope this is a spot where a lot of the community comes, because, you know, there’s a lot of fast food places and this is just a healthy place and it looks like it’s kid-friendly, too,” Zimmerman said.
While they live in Lodi, the Rahms have been in business in Portage since 1991 when Angie, who was born in Portage and has family here, opened a Subway and later a Papa Murphy’s. They said they still own a strip mall near Green Berry Smoothies.
Angie first got into naturopathy, a form of alternative medicine, after their son and a friend became ill from different ailments around 2006, Stig said. He started taking better care of himself several years ago and lost 50 pounds, partially because “as you get older, you better start paying better attention to your health.”
Now, the couple aims to bring their motto of “do life better” to the people in Portage, he said. They’re also looking to hire a few employees to help them.
Follow Susan Endres on Twitter @EndresSusan or call her at 745-3506.