Shake Smart to replace Duck Store Cafe in the Rec Center

Shake Smart, a protein shake shop that sells freshly blended pre or post-workout drinks, will be replacing the Duck Store Cafe in the Student Rec Center.

A soft opening is scheduled for Sept. 16, but the grand opening is set for Oct. 2. Shake Smart’s CEO Kevin Gelfand said that previous grand openings have drawn upward of 2,000 people and feature a free shake day that lets customers try any shake on the menu.

“We give literally everything away for free, no restrictions except shakes are regular size,” Gelfand said.

Shake Smart’s products are geared toward college students who are living an on-the-go lifestyle and need a pre or post-workout meal in a cup from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

In addition to serving an assortment of shakes, Shake Smart’s menu includes acai bowls, cold-brew coffee, sandwiches and oatmeal. Customers are able to customize their items even further with milk substitutes, almond butter instead of peanut butter, or soy protein instead of whey.

“We offer a vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menu which I know are common dietary restrictions on UO’s campus,” Gelfand said.

Gelfand said Oregon has been a dream location for Shake Smart because of UO’s relationship with Nike, and his desire to come to Oregon was solidified when he met with UO’s Rec Center faculty while they visited the Shake Smart at the University of Texas at Austin.

“This was the initial point where I was like ‘Wow, Oregon would be an amazing opportunity.’” Gelfand said.

After nearly two years of contact with UO’s Rec Center and a site visit, Shake Smart found a partnership with the Duck Store.

Started by students

Eight years ago, Gelfand was attending San Diego State University when he found himself struggling to find healthy eating from an affordability standpoint and running low on time to prep meals.

“I found it difficult to get a healthy food option while on a college campus so that’s what stemmed the idea for Shake Smart,” Gelfand said. “The whole concept was to create a better for you blended drink option.”

Shake Shack opened as San Diego State University’s first student-owned business, and after the launch, Gelfand approached his friend Martin Reiman to become his business partner. Reiman is now a co-founder and vice president of Shake Smart.

Reiman and Gelfand spent about two years working in the storefront before deciding to take a step back. Gelfand is now focused on the financial and strategic development sides of the business, such as working with stakeholders and campus development, while Reiman primary focuses on facility maintenance.

Shake Smart remains based in San Diego and has 11 other locations across the country. Currently, there are locations across California, one in Arizona, two in Texas and two in Florida. Gelfand said after his own experience in San Diego he has one goal: to provide a healthy and affordable option to campuses across the nation.

“Our overall dream is to be on every premier college campus. We want to be able to serve a better-for-you option for college students because that’s where the idea sparked from,” Gelfand said. “By students, for students is one of our slogans.”

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Cecilia Siauw

Cecilia Siauw