Entertainment Review: Tropical Smoothie promotes mental and physical health

By Lauren Adams

Reporter

Tropical Smootie

Although it was only last summer that the new franchise sprouted up in Joplin, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has quickly overtaken the competition and become the community’s favorite healthy fast food alternative.

Offering a moderate selection of choices, the Cafe not only focuses on keeping calorie content low but on crafting vitamin packed items to provide nutrients for and boost the energy of their customers. From the light and cheery atmosphere, to the speedy and complimentary service, Tropical Smoothie’s goal is to contribute to a nourishing mental and physical lifestyle for the citizens of southwest Missouri.

Located at 3102 East 7th St, Joplin, Tropical Smoothie is a peaceful, colorful, abstract environment where the world seems to slow down and take a deep breath. As soon as the door opens, customers are greeted by a flood of natural light and a positively minimalistic decor style. In the open kitchen there is a focal wall painted mint green, a lovely contrast for the bright orange seating and vividly carefree artwork.

Not only is the color scheme original, but the lack of a tv and also separates the cafe from its competitors. From hour to hour the playlist shifts, usually remaining upbeat and modern, but occasionally containing throwbacks with songs such as Manic Monday.  The music is almost uncomfortably loud for those customers attempting to converse, but at the same time it helps protect those conversations from being overheard by unwanted parties.

Whatever atmosphere they have fostered, the community has responded positively and allowed them to open up a second location at 3025 S Main St Suite B.

Sadly, along with the peacefully distinguishing atmosphere, Tropical Smoothie’s prices and speed are not that of a regular fast food restaurant. One employee described their higher than average prices as, “more than reasonable given the quality of the food.” Prices range from roughly $4 to $10 on the food menu and $4 and up on the smoothie menu. \

To help bring down the prices the Cafe offers a rewards app and their very own Happy Hour on Mon-Fri 7-10, $2 off smoothies. On average, food is prepared and served in under four minutes, however, sometimes a lunch rush will raise that to roughly five and a half minutes. The food is made with such sensitivity that even a few seconds difference in the amount of time left in the oven can make an impact on the taste and texture of a patron’s meal.

Expecting delicious food to be healthy has become a regular disappointment to many people. According to the regular customers, Tropical Smoothie is one of the few exceptions, where no one has to smile through gritted teeth and pretend to enjoy the health food. They have a relatively small food menu consisting of flavorful wraps, flatbreads, and sandwiches, as well as a small breakfast menu consisting of omelettes.

The widely popular Thai Chicken has a tangy, understated dressing and consists of a salad like filling and a fair amount of chicken. Another favorite of the community, the Chipotle Chicken Club provides a filling of Bacon, tomatoes, romaine, pepper jack & chipotle mayo wrapped in a satisfyingly fluffy flat bread. In addition to their classic smoothie menu in the store, there is a huge variety of smoothies they are able to make upon request.

I found myself surprised by the appeal of the food and genuine relaxation inspired by the environment. In a world full of artificial happiness and fake health, Tropical Smoothie is a refreshing change.