For one busy South Shore mom, a frozen, ready-to-blend smoothie is a lot more than just fruit and protein powder in a cup. To Carley Dunphy, owner of Blendah Babes, it’s a family-friendly crowd pleaser, a healthy convenience and a lifesaver for moms on the go.
“The best feeling in the world is a little kid drinking a green smoothie and saying ‘This is so good,’ ” she said. “Have you ever tried to get kids to eat green vegetables? It’s a miracle.”
Dunphy and her former business partner launched Blendah Babes as a food truck, farmers market stand and corporate event caterer in 2015. At the time, Dunphy was working in a staffing agency with an incomplete college degree, unsure of what exactly she wanted to do long term.
“I was so unhappy and I knew it wasn’t what I wanted, so at 28 years old I left and went back to finish my degree,” she said. “At the time, my business partner was just a friend I had who was in the nutrition business, and we would workout together and shared the same health priorities. It just kind of blossomed.”
The pair began revamping their own home recipes for smoothies and trying different things until they launched their company and traveled the South Shore blending up healthy fruit smoothies and protein-rich meal replacements for more than a year. But as their own families started to grow and time became scarce, their market visits and food truck spots became less and less.
“Our customers wanted to know where they could get our smoothies when we weren’t around, so we started packing them. It just naturally evolved that way,” Dunphy said.
By 2018, her partner had left the business and she was on her own packaging about 100 cups of pre-washed and cut fruit, veggies, oats and protein powders. Once a liquid is added — she recommends water or almond milk — the cup is ready to be poured into a blender and quickly turns into an easy-to-eat meal.
When she started, there were four smoothie flavors Dunphy was selling at farmers markets and in a single retail store. Today, she has six flavor options, Blendah Babes smoothies are sold in a dozen local grocery stores and she has up to 40 home-delivery clients (she drives to each one herself) ordering smoothie cups at any one time.
In the summers, she can sell up to 1,000 smoothie cups per week between store sales, farmers markets and deliveries.
“It was tough at first. I do sell to a niche market and I know not everyone is looking for an organic smoothie as a meal replacement, but I’ve found my footing,” Dunphy said. “I’m so glad I’ve kept going.”
Today, the Kingston resident shares a commercial kitchen space in Duxbury where she spends at least three days per week washing and cutting fruit, packing cups and sealing them to make them freezer-ready. Eventually, she wants to partner with a distributor, be in stores out-of-state and be able to ship her smoothie cups all over the country.
Smoothie cups come in six flavors: Berry in Love (the latest addition), Strawberry Fields Forever, Lean Green Pineapple Queen (the most popular), Mango Broke My Heart, Peanut Buttah Cup (which has 23 grams of protein) and Apple Bottom Greens.
In addition to home delivery, which requires an eight-cup minimum order, The Blendah Babe products are sold at Scituate Village Market, select Roche Brothers, The Fruit Center in Hingham and Milton and other grocery stores. Dunphy also takes pre-made cups and her mobile smoothie stand to farmers markets across the area.
“When you’re supporting a local business, you’re supporting a local family,” she said. “I can promise a quality and freshness we stand behind.”
Home delivery orders can be placed on the Blendah Babes website.
Photos in this post were taken by the wonderfully talented Greg Derr. They were originally published in The Patriot Ledger.