Local Diner Profile: Simple Shakes

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Photo from Alexandria Leland.

Rebekah Hedeen, Features Editor

Down the street from Utica College sits a quaint shop that sells “simple shakes,” with an emphasis on the simplicity of its ingredients and health benefits.

The business opened in September after several months of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Simple Shakes owner Jamie Licari said. 

“We offer healthy protein and meal replacement shakes,” Licari said. “Unlike other businesses similar to us, we don’t add any additional sugars or simple syrups. All of our shakes consist of fruits, oats, protein and your choice of 2% or almond milk.”

Throughout the pandemic, many businesses have been deterred from opening but the wait seems to be worth it for Licari as he serves 50 customers on average a day. Licari said he hopes Simple Shakes will average nearly 100 customers a day by the time summer arrives. 

The human body produces amino acids, but others are consumed through the diet, which is called “essential amino acids, according to an article from Eat This, Not That by Kiersten Hickman.

Protein powders are a great way in which to eat your daily intake of protein and amino acids. Additionally, the article urged readers to research the proteins they consume before doing so as some contain harmful substances from the production process. 

“We offer healthy protein and meal replacement shakes,” Licari said. “Unlike other businesses similar to us, we don’t add any additional sugars or simple syrups. All of our shakes consist of fruits, oats, protein and your choice of 2% or almond milk.”

Photo by Alexandria Leland

“The pandemic has had a big impact on us,” Licari said. “For starters, while we were unable to open early in the year we still had to pay rent and utilities while having no business. [The COVID-19 pandemic] has hurt us just like every other business.”

Photo by Alexandria Leland

Grab-and-go dinners among college students and young adults are becoming especially popular with the increase of a need to stay busy and to be productive. Simple Shakes offers a way for students to have both a quick, grab-and-go meal that is filling and relatively cost-efficient. The shakes are also a good after gym protein source, Licari said. 

“We would like the students to know we understand being a student financially could be very difficult,” Licari said. “But that doesn’t mean you need to eat unhealthy because you can get a burger and fries for a few dollars. Our 16oz shake is $5.25  and we are always offering different deals to help out. So Instead of grabbing fried food because they are cheap, try one of our shakes.”

And with rising costs of food outside of the college’s dining hall, Licari’s point can be critical to those looking for a cheap meal before heading to campus.

“Ordinarily I would eat in my room but off-campus I would go to McDonald’s or Chipotle and it normally cost me about $10-$12,” said Mark Mason, a first-year student.

Simple Shakes offers a solution for unhealthy eating that is more cost-effective and time-efficient, ultimately helping students and busy individuals in the long run.

“We started Simple Shakes because we both try to live a healthy lifestyle,” Licari said. “There are not many healthy options in this area for you to stop and get a product as we offer. Everything tends to be quick and unhealthy. We wanted to offer the community something they could fill up on and also feel good about.”

Simple Shakes is located at 1720 Burrstone Road, New Hartford, NY 13413 and all information regarding their shakes and nutrition information can be found on their website.

 

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