“Ball State taking out Jamba Juice is my villain origin story.”
This was just one Twitter reaction to Ball State University Dining Services’ decision to end its five-year contract with Jamba Juice.
Jamba Juice was located in the Atrium along with well-known fast food restaurants Chick-Fil-A and Papa Johns. The smoothie restaurant was closed while students were away for winter break in December 2020.
“The five-year agreement between Ball State University and Jamba Juice was due for renewal,” Karen Adkins, senior director of auxiliary services, said in an email. “Based on declining customer counts and sales, University Dining recommended a non-renewal of the agreement.”
University Dining plans to replace Jamba Juice with the Atrium Cafe & Convenience Store, which will open Feb. 15. The store will allow students to use meal swipes like other dining halls. Adkins said the new store will include fresh fruits and vegetables, grocery items, bottled drinks and snacks.
What will replace Jamba Juice?
The Atrium Cafe and Convenience Store will open Feb. 15.
It will offer a salad bar, fresh fruits and vegetables, bottled drinks, snacks and household items.
Source: Karen Adkins, senior director of auxiliary services
Adkins said Dining Services understands students may be disappointed by the closing, but she added that the costs of keeping Jamba Juice open would outweigh the revenue. To supplement Jamba Juice’s lack of sales, Adkins said, University Dining would have to raise the costs of all food items to remain self-supporting.
Although several students expressed their disappointment on social media, dining services received few complaints directly.
“University Dining understands that there are customers that preferred Jamba Juice and that it may be disappointing that Jamba Juice has closed,” Adkins said. “University Dining is committed to remaining progressive in meeting our students’ needs.”
Kayla Galyen, sophomore elementary education major and former Jamba Juice employee, said the closing was unexpected.
“Our manager at the Atrium said he didn’t even know about it until Ball State told him over break,” Galyen said. “Everybody that worked there didn’t expect it.”
Galyen said she and her co-workers were upset by the sudden closing.
“We were disappointed because that’s a really popular place on campus,” she said, “but we understood the reason why.”
Catherine Shepherd, freshman music education major, said she only visited Jamba Juice every few weeks but enjoyed the different options it provided.
“I’m kind of a little disappointed because it offered more variety of food choices, like breakfast stuff all day,” Shepherd said. “That was kind of a fun option if you didn’t want a traditional sandwich.”
The new dining location will also include a salad bar, where customers can have their salad custom-made.
Jules Ammons, freshman dance and psychology major, started working at the Atrium in December 2020. Ammons said she thinks the Atrium has unhealthy food options overall and that a salad bar would provide a better variety.
“The only healthy thing in the Atrium is the salads in those coolers and maybe Boar’s Head if you choose the right things,” she said. “A salad bar would be a healthier choice.”
Adkins said Dining Services is excited to open the new convenience store because of what it will offer Ball State students.
“University Dining is committed to remaining progressive in meeting our students’ needs,” she said. “We continuously follow and incorporate national college and university dining best practices and trends.”
Contact Mackenzie Rupp with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @kenzieer18.