Expanded version of Freshëns coming to new Rec Center in fall 2019

Freshens is a smoothie place at the Union that accepts points. They offer a variety of flavors from fruit flavors to peanut butter. (Photo by Chloe Gu)

The popular smoothie joint, Freshëns, is coming to the new University of Connecticut Recreation Center next fall, director of dining services Dennis Pierce said.

The menu will be expanded to include various salads, flatbreads and toasted wraps Pierce said.

The new store will be located on the first floor of the new recreation center, which has been under construction since October of 2015. The three-floor 191,000 sq. ft. building is scheduled to open in the fall of next year. For more information on that project, visit the UConn Rec website.

The current Freshëns at UConn is located next to Union Street Market in the Student Union cafeteria. It is limited, however, to smoothies.

The new Freshëns will provide easy access for students, Pierce said. The new menu will include items like a Chipotle Chicken Club flatbread, a Roadhouse BBQ Chicken salad and the Diablo Chicken toasted wrap.

“You guys [students] are the most unique demographic going in the food service,” Pierce said. “You are the most emotional eaters. As food service providers, we recognize that we have to be everything.”

Pierce said originally the Freshëns in the new rec center was only going to serve smoothies.

“Originally it was going to be a smoothie concept and that was it.” Pierce said. “And then I said ‘no, we need to be able to put something on the healthier side so it aligns with the rec center and their philosophy.” Pierce added.

Pierce said that it is important for dining services to be able to help students develop healthy habits now.

“When you leave here, you are going to have those continuous habits,” Pierce said.

Freshëns is “a healthy ‘fast casual’ which offers prepared to order food inspired by fresh ingredients and authentic flavors, with a focus on customization and speed of service,” according to the brand.

Grace Brangwynne, a first-semester political science major, said she is very excited for the service to come to the rec center.

“I’m personally looking forward to having a place to cool off and relax after my daily workout,” Brangwynne said.

Seventh-semester biomedical engineering major George Andrews said he wishes he was going to be at UConn for the opening.

“I lay awake at night thinking of all the Freshëns smoothies I’m going to miss out on now,” Andrews said.

Pierce said that there will be some other new additions at the rec center, such as coffee. The need arose from a general student consensus that there needed to be more availability for coffee on campus, Pierce said.

“We also are going to bring over Peet’s Coffee from the library.” Pierce said. “Just strictly coffee, no fluffy drinks.”

Pierce said students will be able to use meal plan points for Freshëns and coffee. He added that he is confident that the opening will generate more business than originally anticipated.


Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at taylor.harton@uconn.edu .