Smooth Rider Smoothies – Ohio City
The idea of Smooth Rider Smoothies came to Northeast Ohio natives Mike and Lydia at a crossroads moment in their lives. A combination of realizing their joint dream to own a business and the awareness that they weren’t happy in their current career situations led Smooth Rider to transition from a simple dream to Cleveland’s “Premier Smoothie Truck”.
A Crossroads Moment
While vacationing in the Florida Keys in January 2016, Mike and Lydia were discussing their future plans. Lydia, at that time in the retail sales industry (fun fact: she studied fashion and retail management at the Art Institute of Charleston, SC), and Mike, managing his family asphalt business, both knew they wanted more for their lives and their careers. Lydia recalled a friend who owned a food truck with her fiance and remembers thinking, “That’s it, that’s our business”. After some further research and the determination that there was, in fact, a demand for a healthy alternative food truck, they worked tirelessly for the next five months and hit the streets that very June.
From the very beginning, Mike and Lydia always had the notion that they wanted to open a store one day if the city of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio loved their smoothies. Because food trucks in Cleveland have a “season”, many truck owners have brick and mortar locations to continue to serve customers even in the winter months. Throughout the first year of service, customers would constantly ask where their location was, so the reassurance they received from the city allowed them to gain enough confidence to open a brick and mortar location in October of 2018, just two years after the birth of their truck. “In 2017, we were ready to move from Chagrin Falls to Cleveland but didn’t want to be right downtown. I used to come to Ohio City a lot in my early 20’s, but it wasn’t until we moved here that I realized how much bigger Ohio City is than just 25th St. We love it here, and were blessed with an opportunity to open our first brick and mortar location just down the street from where we live.” Lydia expressed, “There is so much culture here, the absolute best thing is watching the growth of this city bloom right before our eyes.”
The most popular smoothie at their Ohio City location according to Mike and Lydia is, “by far our Kokomo Kale. According to a new and very loyal store customer, it is “The best smoothie ever in the entire history of America”.” It’s a dairy-free, gluten-free, green smoothie with kale spinach, pineapple, mango and a lot of other healthy ingredients. (Fun fact: this is also Mike’s personal favorite!) On the food truck, their Straw-Belly-Banana smoothie is the most popular, and Lydia claims the Dragon Berry smoothie as her personal favorite.
The Future of Smooth Rider
Mike and Lydia have a lot of intention in mind for Smooth Rider Smoothies, and they “make sure to trust in the unknown future”. Whether it be opening a second truck or another location, their promise is to always make sure to listen and meet the demands of their customers no matter where the future takes them.
When asked about the most rewarding part of Smooth Rider’s journey thus far, Lydia explained that “There are countless rewarding aspects in our journey, however, the endless support from our families, friends, and customers continue to inspire us and remove any doubts and fears we may have.” Encouraging others to follow their dreams, the couple expressed gratitude for their friends, family, and their community for making this all possible. “It is also incredibly rewarding learning entirely new things and accomplishing goals that once virtually seemed impossible.”