Local business owner Thom Baker seeks to leave Columbia a gift when he retires. Tucked away in his equipment-lain home office, Thom Baker of...
Eating out just got healthier. Tropical Smoothie Café’s menu has 25 smoothies and a list of healthy additives, like vitamin C and whey protein. The restaurant not only offers smoothies, but they have a full menu of food, including flatbreads, sandwiches, and bowls—all made to order with fresh ingredients. “It’s what separates us from your typical smoothie place,” manager Thomas Eckles says.
The first Tropical Smoothie Café opened in Florida in 1997 and the company has been growing franchises ever since. Local franchisee Chris Hurst chose to open a location in Columbia after getting the idea from a friend who owns around 40 stores of his own.
The Midwest is a growing market for Tropical Smoothie Cafés; Columbia can expect to see more than one location in the future. Eckles says they’re looking at possible locations in Jefferson City and on the south side of Columbia. “We really want it to take off,” Eckles says.
Location: 403 N. Stadium Blvd. #102
Columbia Post Acute, a physical rehabilitation facility that caters to people age 50 and above, started accepting patients in May. The facility is equipped with 70 private rooms and amenities like a game room, movie theatre, putting green, café, and pub. Trained staff members provide nursing care as well as occupational, physical, and speech therapy. The facility works as a supportive in-between health facility as patients transition from a hospital to home.
Suzanne Jennings serves as facilities clinical nurse liaison for Columbia Post Acute. She meets with patients during their typical two- to three-week stay. “Our facility has its own little niche in our community,” Jennings says. Columbia Post Acute plans to accept more patients in the upcoming months. They provide services that were once unavailable to the elderly population. “I hope that we can continue to meet a need in the central Missouri area for folks that need this type of care,” Jennings says.
Location: 3535 Berrywood Dr.
Rho Engine Room is the only dedicated rowing studio in Columbia. Rowing is, traditionally, a low-impact workout, but Rho Engine Room trainers will vary workouts for their clients so they can achieve peak metabolic conditioning. Owner Laura Kitzi says rowing is a sensory experience because clients can hear the audible whoosh of water connected with every stroke. Classes are an hour long and include strength and balance training as well as music.
Kitzi opened the workout studio in May after being inspired while traveling. “[The studio] was developed by touring around the U.S. and seeing all the cool fitness concepts emerging and then picking one that I think Columbia residents would enjoy,” she says.
Kitzi is looking forward to creating a supportive customer base as her business expands. “I hope to build a culture that rewards hard work but is also a lot of fun,” Kitzi says.
Location: 10 W. Nifong Blvd., Ste. 113