Delaware News

Owner brings Pulp franchise home to Delaware

March opening set for smoothie shop; until then, food truck will dispense meal replacements

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Delaware native Jessica Burke plans to open a Pulp smoothie shop in March at West William and South Franklin streets. She's pictured in the food truck that will set up shop at that location until the store opens.

The first Pulp Juice & Smoothie Bar outside northeast Ohio is poised to take over a vacant building at the corner of West William and South Franklin streets in March.

Until then, its meal-replacement smoothies and all-natural foods are for sale from a truck on the store's lot. It's the eight-store franchise's first food truck.

"We won't be able to open the store as soon as were were hoping, and we wanted to bring Pulp to Delaware as soon as possible, so we knew we had to get a truck," said Jessica Burke, who owns the store with her uncle, Bill Myers.

Burke grew up in Delaware and graduated from Hayes High School in 2001. She was first introduced to Pulp when she attended Kent State University to earn a marketing degree.

The college town of Kent is the home of Pulp, so not only did she get hooked on the all-natural smoothies, she also was able to befriend Pulp franchise owner Tom Knepp.

Earlier this year, Burke took her uncle to Kent to visit Pulp for the first time, and he was hooked, too. From then on, the goal was to expand the franchise to central Ohio.

Burke said she already has plans to serve the smoothies -- with names such as Mango Tango, Anti-Oxiberry and Peach Beach -- out of multiple stores, including one near the Ohio State University campus.

"Another one of our goals is to take this (truck) to festivals after the store is open," she said.

Until the store -- which will be vibrantly painted orange, yellow, pink and lime green -- opens for business, Burke will be in the truck, serving smoothies, wraps and salads from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays.

Of the 31 smoothies, Burke's favorites include the Elite Eight, which is made with strawberry juice, pineapple juice, strawberries, peaches, mangos and orange sherbet; and the Protein Packer, which is made with soy milk, peanut butter, chocolate, bananas, whey and soy protein. Another favorite is the seasonal pumpkin pie smoothie.

Each smoothie comes with a free, optional enhancer such as whey protein, Stress Eliminator or Fat Burner.

"The whole focus is that it's a meal in a cup," Burke said. "And it's a healthy alternative because it has real fruit and real juice."

The store also offers wraps. Burke said the one that's not to be missed is the PB&G: a whole-wheat tortilla that's stuffed with peanut butter, sliced bananas, honey, crunchy granola and low-fat vanilla yogurt.

Currently, the truck serves only 24-ounce smoothies that range from $5 to $6, but once the brick-and-mortar location is open, 16- and 32-ounce smoothies will be available.

Because Oct. 4 -- and the beginning of chillier weather -- marked the truck's grand opening, the owners currently are building a cellphone app that will keep customers out of the snow. With the app, customers will be able to text orders to the truck, and they will be brought out to their vehicles.

"This is something I've wanted to bring to Delaware for a long time," Burke said. "It's not like anything else we have and I want everyone to experience it, because I think they'll love it as much as I do."