Fresh choices to replace health food store

The natural food store Healthy Selections in the Phyllis P. Marshal Center closed its doors two weeks ago to begin renovations for Freshens, a national ice cream and smoothie chain.

The natural food store was open for about four months before it was determined there wasn’t a high demand for the products, said Joe Synovec, assistant director of the Marshall Center.

Synovec added that after Einstein Bagel Bros. replaced the Marshall Center Cafe, food sales decreased for Aramark.

He said the decrease was partly because smoothies were no longer available for students.

“Smoothies were about 60 percent of the sales at the MC Cafe,” Synovec said.

Freshens will sell fruit, yogurt, coffee-based smoothies, scoop ice cream and soft-serve frozen yogurt. The store is scheduled to open in time for the summer semester on May 12.

“Because Freshens will be open as a later-evening facility, we will try to provide more food options for when it is the only location in the Marshall Center open,” said Robin Crouch, marketing manager of USF Dining Services.

Crouch said money to install the Freshens will come from a $7.5-million contract USF Dinning Services holds, which can be used for renovations and repairs in dining services.

“The majority of the renovation costs would have been for equipment,” Crouch said. “However, because we already had a lot of the equipment, the costs will be minimal.”

The prospective hours of operation for the store are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and weekend hours have yet to be determined.

Synovec said that the popular items sold at Healthy Selections will “not be entirely lost.” The Andros Convenience Store now carries those items.

He also said that Freshens will occupy the same amount of space as Healthy Selections did, but there will be a bar with seating outside of the store.

“Students will be able to sit and wait for their smoothies,” Synovec said. “It’s a really neat layout, like an outdoor cafe.”