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Healthy Bowl replaces Freshens

Healthy Bowl is now OPEN! It's alongside Freshens. Now the location is split between smoothies on the left, and burritos and rice bowls on the right.
Healthy Bowl is now OPEN! It's alongside Freshens. Now the location is split between smoothies on the left, and burritos and rice bowls on the right.

The nation’s first public university is now the first university to offer Healthy Bowl to its students.

Healthy Bowl opened in Lenoir Mainstreet Tuesday morning, selling burritos, rice bowls and Freshens smoothies. This new dining option is in the same location as Freshens was.

“We specialize in university markets, and on this campus we heard a need for burritos and bowls,” said Joe Sardina, director of operations for Yogurt Ventures USA, the parent company that owns both Freshens and Healthy Bowl.

The new food incorporates about half of its menu from American cuisines, and half have an international inspiration, Sardina said. He said Freshens smoothies were a strong product, but the crepes had no sales growth since opening.

The Healthy Bowl at UNC is the first to ever open on a college campus, but Sardina said there are plans to open more.

“We want to see that students connect with the brand and menu,” Sardina said. “We want to learn from students what we can do to make our brand stronger.”

Healthy Bowl attracted about 75 customers its opening day and garnered some positive reviews from students who tried it on its first day.

“I thought I’d try it out since it’s new,” said sophomore Ghanshyam Dave. “It’s pretty good.”

Junior Jessica Jiang said she saw there was a new opening, so she wanted to try it.

“I liked Freshens, so I figured it’d be good continually,” Jiang said.

While other Lenoir Mainstreet food options are only open until mid-afternoon, Healthy Bowl is open until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, which attracted junior Ben Zhao.

“They were open late, which is better hours,” Zhao said.

Brandon Thomas, a spokesperson for Carolina Dining Services, said in an email that the department is excited to offer Healthy Bowl to students.

“The rice bowls and burritos are becoming a popular trend, so we’re pleased to offer them on campus, and the different sizes are priced within students’ budgets,” he said.

Thomas shared that Carolina Dining Services is also pleased to be able to alter the dietary options in the middle of the semester.

“This is also kind of a unique opportunity — being able to change things up and offer something different in the middle of the school year and have new choices for the new semester,” Thomas said.

Healthy Bowl is open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 3 p.m. on Friday. Freshens Smoothies are served from the Healthy Bowl counter beginning at 9 a.m.

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