Two-time WNBA champion, five-time All-Star, and Seattle Storm Guard Jewell Loyd and her brother European Professional Basketball Player Jarryd Loyd, welcome the public from Chicago’s North Shore communities to sip some of the flavorful offerings during the grand re-opening of Smoothie King Skokie from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 22, at 3612 W. Touhy Ave. in Skokie.
Guests will be treated to free smoothie samples, play fun games and meet the team behind this location. There will be giveaways of Smoothie King gift cards and gear, Microsoft Surface Tablets and backpacks, autographed memorabilia by Jewell and Miami pickleball items.
“Smoothies and new business ventures are something my brother and I love. For us, it was something we understood,” Jewell says. “We knew if we could own a franchise that offers snack and meal options that support the communities health and fitness goals while also creating an opportunity for us to give back to the communities that were part of our lives, it would be a ‘win-win’ for everyone.”
For many reasons, operating a Smoothie King location close to Chicago was attractive to the Loyds, proud Niles West High School graduates. Jarryd explained how Jewell would travel nationally and internationally for games and find convenient Smoothie King locations to give her a quick and healthier meal option than most fast-food places. The siblings thought having such a store would do well in their area. They found one in May and bought the location from existing management.
“As a former professional athlete and my sister being a current professional athlete, we recognize that what we put into our bodies ultimately affects how we perform,” Jarryd says. “We’re passionate about health and wellness and smoothies. Smoothie King just happened to be aligned with our mission and core values of making healthy and nutritional choices part of people's daily habits. We are looking forward to building a true partnership with the company.”
Giving back to their community is also important to them. The Loyd's store presents employment opportunities to Niles North and West High School students and those with learning disabilities. The latter group holds a personal significance as Jewell is open about her experience with dyslexia. She has partnered with national organizations—The Dyslexic Advantage and Eye to Eye—to support the delivery of mentoring services and other resources and to promote full inclusion for people with learning disabilities.
“We want to partner with corporations or businesses looking for folks who need transitional services,” Jarryd explains. “We also support having more minority businesses operate and run in Skokie and Lincolnwood. I think it’s important for us business owners to lead by example by having a woman-owned business and a diverse group of employees.”
With Skokie being home to many diverse cultures, Jarryd also emphasized how he wants the store to be a welcoming place for everyone.
“We grew up in Lincolnwood, so our cultural competency is high,” he says. “I believe because there are so many different nationalities and ethos in the area, we want to ensure that everyone feels welcomed. We want to primarily focus on the Jewish and Muslim communities in the area in making sure there are both kosher and halal offerings.”