New competing iced drink business opens in downtown Columbia

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COLUMBIA - A new smoothie and iced drink business officially opened its doors in downtown Columbia Thursday.

Located on the northeast corner of 10th and Elm Street, Jamba Juice opened its fifth store in Missouri.

"I think it's really about finding that niche market and how you can fit into it. Catering to what people's needs are, and it's something that students really want," Columbia Jamba Juice general manager Josh Dinkins said.

Previously, the building Jamba Juice now occupies had been a Break Time.

The new Jamba Juice is located near competing business Blenders Smoothies and Juice.

"I don't think it's competition really," Dinkins said. "I think we both have target markets that we can hit, and you know I think Columbia has enough of a want and a desire that there can be multiple companies like ours that can survive in this area."

Blenders Smoothies and Juice has been at its location on 9th Street since August 2013.

"Businesses come and go all the time. I'd like to think we'll still be around. We plan on being here for a really long time." Blenders owner Kieran McBride said.

McBride said the new apartment complexes and commercial growth downtown is ultimately a positive for Columbia.

"I know parking is a premium out here, but this space was a parking lot before it opened up." McBride said. "We really wanted to be down here, and we really wanted to be in the center of the community."

Jamba Juice local franchise agent Jerry Ansler said Jamba Juice plans to open about 20 stores throughout Missouri and Kansas.

The other four Jamba Juice locations in Missouri are in or near St. Louis.