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Local Store Sends Smoothies to Soldiers

A local smoothie shop is sending a cool treat to some soldiers in Iraq. The Smoothie King in Gahanna is shipping 100 Strawberry Extreme and Caribbean Way drinks to a local soldier's division stationed in Baghdad. Owner Laura Shepherd said she got the idea when her husband was serving in the same region.

"I had been sending him packages about every two weeks and I was trying to find unique things to send over so that every package was not the same then I thought 'hello I own a Smoothie King'."

Shepherd said she ran into some trouble trying to figure out how to get the smoothies to Iraq without melting. Other Smoothie King owners were skeptical but a local UPS store came to the rescue and created a plan that would send lids and cups first and the drinks on dry ice second.

"We sent the cups straws and lids a few weeks ago and we are going to be putting them in sturdy plastic pouring pictures and take them down to the ups store and package them with dry ice and packing materials."

Shepherd said it will take about four days for the smoothies to get to the soldiers. It costs about a thousand dollars to make and ship the drinks. She and her husband are hoping to expand their operation in the future with some help from their customers.

"I think what we are going to do after the first of the year is plan it in advance, maybe three months in advance, and let our guests maybe purchase a smoothie cup and put their name on a camouflaged sticker and we can put it up in the store, write letters to the soldiers, I mean there is just so much more that we can do."