After driving through town looking for a healthy bite to eat with their car full of twin 5-year-old boys, a 2-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter, Leslie and Dave Hutchinson decided it was time to add a healthy alternative to Herndon's fast food selection.
"Our focus is on supporting America's growing fascination to have healthy lifestyles," said Dave Hutchinson, four-year Herndon resident.
Recent Chicago transplants, Dave and Leslie Hutchinson moved to the area initially because of work. As business consultants, the two worked for large companies before deciding to start their own small business.
Now, the parents of four are preparing to open the first Robeks Fruit Smoothies & Healthy Eats in Fairfax County.
"We have always wanted to open our own business," said Leslie Hutchinson. "We were interested in the health-food industry because there just are not any good health-food options in the area."
Robeks Fruit Smoothies & Healthy Eats is a Southern California chain dedicated to providing a healthy alternative to fast food that also tastes good, according Robeks' official Web site.
The store offers blended to order fruit smoothies with a choice of an additional “boost.” One example is a wheat grass boost. One ounce of wheat grass equals the same amount of vitamins and minerals in two-pounds of vegetables, said Leslie Hutchinson.
Other area Robeks are located in Ashburn, Annapolis, Md. and Washington, D.C., said Dave Hutchinson. But, the Herndon location is the first in Fairfax County.
Along with offering smoothies as a healthy treat, the store also provides fresh salads, soups, sandwiches, wraps, pretzels, high-protein baked goods and nutritional supplements, among other things.
ORIGINALLY FROM Connecticut and New Jersey respectively, Leslie and Dave Hutchinson are ready to make Herndon a permanent home with the opening of the new business.
As Timothy and Kyle — identical twin 5-year-olds — run through the Hutchinson's empty store along Elden Street wearing Robeks visors, Leslie Hutchinson continues to work on last minute touches.
Already painted a bright yellow, the small store has quickly transformed into what will be a hopeful high energy, something-for-everybody establishment, said Leslie Hutchinson.
"This is the kind of place that can offer those healthy options while making the healthy food taste good," said Leslie Hutchinson.
"The aspect of doing something to contribute to the community was very appealing," said Dave Hutchinson.
Because the couple wants to offer healthy foods to residents like themselves — always on the go and trying to raise their children on healthy food — they hope to expand into other area locations, he said.
But first they need to open the Herndon store. As of Monday, Nov. 7, the store had most of its machinery installed. Blenders lined the front counter, soft-serve ice cream machines were in place, a juice mixer sat on the back counter next to a wheat grass grinder. The menu boards had been hung and Leslie Hutchinson was working at fixing the company software for the computer. Waiting on one last permit approval, the couple is on scheduled for a soft opening Thursday, Nov. 17, that is geared toward the local business community. The grand opening will follow Saturday, Nov. 19, and is geared toward the community with its scheduled balloons, clowns, music and other entertainment. Both openings are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will offer free smoothies and samples from the menu.