Introducing: Jamba Juice, the first Canadian outpost of the original American smoothie empire
Jamba Juice may not have Blue Jay José Bautista shilling for its smoothies, but the cult California chain probably doesn’t need him. Found in 1990, Jamba Juice served as the blueprint for a raft of Canadian smoothie joints like Booster Juice and Jugo Juice. Now the original mega-smoothie bar has opened its first Canadian location, on Bloor Street in the Annex, and we decided to take a look.
A glance at the smoothie sizes provides the first hint that this chain hails from south of the 49th, with the largest size, dubbed Power, dwarfing the mighty Big Gulp from the 7-Eleven down the street. Calorie counts are displayed alongside the menu options, ranging from 140 calories for a small Jamba Light smoothie to 770 calories for a “creamy treat” like Peanut Butter Moo’d. Of course, Jamba Juice is best known for its classic fruit juice and sherbet (or fro-yo) smoothies ($4.50–$5.95), like Banana Berry (banana, blueberry, raspberry and apple) and Orange-A-Peel (orange, strawberry and banana). The fruit and veggie smoothies ($4.95–$6.45) such as Apple ’n’ Greens and Berry UpBeet tout three full servings of fruits and vegetables for those looking for a bit more substance.
Unlike the American locations, where an additional “booster” is included in every smoothie, here they’ll charge an extra 50 cents if you’re hoping to throw in some “Energy,” “Immunity,” or a dose of daily vitamins (with the exception of a couple pre-boosted smoothies like the Coldbuster and Protein Berry Workout). In addition to its liquid meals, Jamba Juice also offers breakfast items, like steel-cut oatmeal cooked in soymilk and topped with brown sugar crumble ($3.50), fruit and yogurt parfaits ($4.95–$5.50), PopChips and, naturally, bottles of Fiji Water to wash it all down.
Jamba Juice, 495 Bloor Street West (just west of Brunswick), jambajuice.ca