I’ve been Evolutionized

Hello everyone!

Today was one of those random days.  It was crappy weather outside, got up a little on the late side and wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I decided to hop in the car and make the 150 mile (one way) trip up to Bellevue, WA and visit the new Evolution Fresh store which just opened up not too long ago. I’m still trying to figure out if this store is actually IN Bellevue Square Mall or just around the corner to it. It’s been probably 8 years or so since I was last in the area.

Upon entering, I was delighted to see that it was well very well lit and all the fixtures and counters were lighter in color, which just lent to a warm, clean atmosphere.  There is only seating in here for about 16 people, but right outside their entrance is a shared hallway for Starbucks and if I remember correctly PF Changs.  There is a huge fireplace and several leather couches to sit in.  Inside the main entrance to your left was the juice/smoothie counter and straight ahead was the food counter should you decide to grab a bite while you were there. I really liked the use of technology inside the store too.  Behind the juice counter was a 6-panel video screen which actually served as the juice menu board.  After a certain period of time, a “screen saver” kicks in and displays pictures and information about the ingredients in their juices/smoothies. To recall the menu again, there is a button on the counter that a customer merely pushes and viola! The dry ingredients for their juices/smoothies are right behind the counter, and for the actual juice part, there were I think 4 taps mounted on the wall below the menu screens. The juices are dispensed here into measuring cups like Starbucks uses for their iced teas. If you’ve ordered a blended smoothie, they use the same blenders as Starbucks as well. It was pretty cool watching them put everything together, but it seemed like there was a lot of extra steps taken (literally) to get all the ingredients together just before blending. Actually, the more I think of it, it was kind of whacky. Turn around to measure juice, step to the way left for dry ingredients and then all the way to the right to blend. hmmm. I chose the Smooth Strawbana, which was a combination of apple juice, strawberries and bananas. It was delicious! Next time, I’ll have to try the Smooth Pineapple, which is pineapple juice, mangos, bananas and nonfat Greek yogurt.

Back behind the food counter, the menu boards are HUGE. There is a lot of options, so it took me a little bit to figure out what I wanted. They offer something for all three meals throughout the day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I opted for a hot simmer signature bowl of lentils, wild rice and kale.  The hot simmer comes from adding their signature stock to a signature bowl, turning it into a soup more or less. It turned out to be a good combination but it wasn’t as hot as I would have liked.  For such a small place, they have a pretty diverse menu and offer a little something for everyone from scrambles to bowls, to salads, sandwiches, wraps and snacks.

All in all, I had a very enjoyable visit and it was well worth the 150 miles to go and check it out.

Pros:

  • The entire staff was polite and courteous.
  • It was very clean.
  • Great use of technology within the store.
  • Diverse menu with items clearly marked as free of wheat ingredients or vegan/vegetarian.
  • They don’t use a heat process on any of their juices, it’s all cold “pressure” processed to maintain natural freshness and taste.
  • Your loaded Starbucks Card works here. I have an Evolution Fresh card, I don’t know if it works inside of Starbucks.
  • Even though this place is connected to a Starbucks on the other side of the wall, they DO offer Pike Place Roast as a pour over offering.
  • They deliver! it’s a small delivery area, but they do offer that service on a pretty slick modded out bicycle.

Cons:

  • Not much in the way of seating.
  • Price – my 16oz smoothie was $7 and the Signature Bowl was $9 + another $1.75 for the Signature Stock. My visit was just shy of $18.00. Yikes! Add that to the $6 in parking and $70 in gas and it was a pretty expensive road trip for me. (but worth every penny!)

Related Content:

Melody shines a spotlight on the Evolution Fresh Loyalty card

Melody of StarbucksMelody.com reviews the *NEW* Evolution Fresh Juice Bar in Bellevue, Washington

Cellphone Etiquette 101

When’s the last time you went to a phone store to actually shop for a new phone? I almost never do that anymore. The last time I walked into an AT&T store I was happily greeted by by a gal who walked around the store with her Bluetooth headset sitting a little cockeyed in her ear and her phone hanging off her hip with some bright neon green case with one of those bling bling dangly things that looked like it should have been stuck in her belly button. Now I fully realize that employees need to look the part and all, but seriously? Learn how to wear your Bluetooth and get rid of the bling bling belly button thing and I”ll maybe take you a little more seriously. I walked away explaining that I was only looking and this gal continued to follow me around the store trying to point out the cute phones, and the cute cases that would go with it. I now do my phone shopping almost exclusively online, relying on reviews of phones that I might be interested, found online. #EpicFail

I remember the good old days growing up, when if you wanted to talk to someone, you either called them on a land line telephone, or you got in your car and actually knocked on their door. There was no texting, no email or even the internet. Yes, I AM that old. Now we have to put up with cell phones and I mean cell phones everywhere. I will admit that cell phones add a certain convenience to our daily lives, and yes, I do text quite a bit. What I want to know is what the heck is up with people that can’t put their phones down long enough to be present on OUR conversation. I think one of my biggest pet peeves happens when someone walks up to MY counter and when I’m trying to assist them, I get the finger. No, not that finger, but the one that is supposed to tell me to STFU can’t you see I’m on the phone? Now, I work for Starbucks and we have a drive thru. Last week, we had a gentleman pull into the drive through while he was on the phone. It dings in our headsets when someone pulls in so that we know there is someone there and to greet them at our speaker box. If a person pulls in and just sits there, it keeps our headset engaged so that we know when someone is ready to order. This gentleman pulled in and was so enthralled within his own little world (and conversation) that he just sat there talking away on his phone. Seriously? It’s kind of our job to pay attention, just in case there’s a question and after listening to this guy on his phone, I’m gathering that this isn’t really a conversation that we all needed to hear. After interrupting him and asking for his order, he actually had the gall to get irritated with me for interrupting. (PS: we can see you too, so don’t pick your nose!) #EpicFail

My Starbucks happens to be just seconds off the freeway if you are travelling in the south bound direction of I-5. You can kind of imagine the amount of people that we get in just to use our restrooms. In fact, we go through twice as much TP as any other Starbucks store that I have ever worked at. That’s probably TMI, but you get the gist. One thing that I have noticed, which I find very odd, is the amount of gals that walk in my front door on their cell-phones and head straight to the restroom. Okay, so what’s the big deal? I almost never see a guy do that, but the crazy thing is these people come out of the restroom still talking on their phone! Now, to be fair I have no idea if they put the phone down while in there but still, the whole idea of being so tied to a conversation to be on the phone while going in and coming out is, well, frightening. I never see guys doing this. So question: do you are do you not put the cell phone down while you are peeing?

Sorry, I don’t have pictures of these cell phone offenders, but it would be rude on my part to walk up and snap their picture while they are on the phone. So we look at this strange dichotomy of cell phone users and not all are offenders of my basic rules just to be fair again. I think it’s great that you own a cell phone, but follow my rules and the world will be a better place:

1) If you are going into an establishment to get something, be respectful to the people in the store and stop your conversation before going in and call that person back after coming out.

2) If you own a bluetooth headset, for the love of God and all that is holy, use it outside, use it in your car and never use it in a store when you are buying something.

3) I don’t have a rule for the whole peeing thing, that’s just weird.

4) Use a handsfree device while in your car so that you can properly turn your head while checking your blindspots! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been munched because of this! That’s as bad as putting makeup on while doing 75 on the freeway!

5) My mom’s rule when going out to dinner with her, is when we sit down, cell phones off! 🙂

Those are my simple rules, did I miss anything?