By Marie Sova
Three years ago, Haley Gerarde would visit The Smoothie Shoppe each Saturday at the Spa City and Saratoga Farmers’ Markets. She had loved the vibe that surrounded the stand and the flexibility it provided the family that owned it. She had also dreamed of following in the footsteps of her parents and becoming an entrepreneur. But she was raising two children and working part-time jobs on and off while doing so. There wasn’t much time (or energy!) left to do more than dream.
Dreams, however, have a funny way of coming true. Last year, Gerarde heard that The Smoothie Shoppe owners were looking for a buyer. With the encouragement of her husband, She jumped at the chance. Now, she makes smoothies at the farmers’ markets as the owner of Jenny Jo’s Smoothie Bar, LLC.
“It honestly fell into my lap,” Gerarde says. “And I’m so glad I took the leap.”
Her stall sits near the same spot at the Spa City and Saratoga farmers’ markets as The Smoothie Shoppe had in years prior. Although she has rebranded, the recipes remain the same, she notes, “it’s hard to want to fix something that’s not broken.”
But there are some special touches. One is the business name Jenny Jo’s. It’s in honor of Gerarde’s daughters, Genevieve and Josephine. They’re the main reason why she wanted to take the business. “I want to show them an example of hard work paying off, and give them a job opportunity in their future if they decide to take over” explains Gerarde.
Jenny Jo’s Smoothie Bar offers a variety of flavorful smoothies made with wholesome ingredients. The all-fruit smoothies have no added sugar and are dairy and gluten-free. Each smoothie includes a superfood (goji berries, chia seeds, or fresh ginger) to boost health benefits, and Jenny Jo’s also uses local ingredients when possible.
Customers can select from a menu including smoothie options like Righteous Red, Purple Power, Mean Green Machine, and Rhymes with Orange. Jenny Jo’s also offers blended shakes made with an almond milk base, like Mochaspresso and Muscle Monkey with peanut butter. New this summer, Jenny Jo’s is freezing smoothies and bringing popsicles!
Gerarde admits there’s much to learn about running a business. Still, she enjoys the early morning vibe of setting up for the market and the ability to trade smoothies for produce and other food items sold by other vendors. “Each market has amazing options for a good lunch when we have the time”, she adds.
In addition to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market, Gerarde offers her smoothies at popup Zumba events, employee appreciation days, food truck events in Glens Falls, and area farmers’ markets.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at High Rock Park and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park. Find us online at saratogafarmersmarket.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.