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Meet Kevin Gelfand of Shake Smart

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kevin Gelfand.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kevin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Shake Smart started when I was a student at SDSU. I was a junior and realized there were no healthy options that were affordable for the college budget and built for that fast pace, college on-the-go lifestyle. I pitched the campus on the idea and after 6 months and 7 approvals, the first Shake Smart was created. We originally thought of it as a way to learn how to start a business and that would be that.

Quickly it became the most popular option on the college campus which prompted us to test more locations. We tested a variety of markets including a traditional mall (UTC), a traditional gym (LA Fitness), and a military base (Camp Pendleton). After analyzing we decided Shake Smart was best for college campuses. That prompted us to pursue more campuses which (fast forward a few years) we now have locations across the country at some of the most premier campuses including the University of Texas, Cal Poly SLO, and the University of Florida. I could tell a lot more than this… tough to some it up in a paragraph.

Has it been a smooth road?
A smooth road… haha, not at all. We had a lot of trials and tribulations throughout the life of Shake Smart thus far. We learn from all of them though and never make the same mistakes twice. We learned how demographics vary between sites. We learned how technology is vital to growth. We learned the growing pains of having growth from within. We learned the impact that minimum wage has on our business and how to best handle it. We learned that we can only control what we can control and to not stress about the rest. We learned about patience and perseverance. We learned about getting the right people on the bus, and more importantly in the right seats on the bus. The list goes on and on!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Shake Smart specializes in freshly blended protein shakes and healthy on-the-go foods. We focus specifically on college campuses in University Student Unions and Recreation Centers. We have forged a new segment of the blended drink industry which we call “Functional Nutrition”. I am proud of the 154 people we employee and the culture that we have on our team. Our team is made up of solely people under the age of 29 and I think we are doing some pretty powerful and impressive things with our Young and Small team. Our technology, our product, our differentiators, and our niche target market are what set us apart.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I feel our city is amazing with opportunities. The business community is so supportive and there are a variety of networking opportunities to learn, and I was surprised to see how many people were willing to offer advice for free.


  • Shakes range from $4.50 – $5.50 for a regular size
  • Acai bowls are $6.50
  • Organic Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches (or Almond Butter) are $3.00
  • Wholly Oatmeal is $3.50
  • Cold Brew Coffee is $3.00

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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