Mixing it up: New restaurant to provide healthy options

Next month Brookings will “go green” and join a select number of cities as the newest location of the restaurant Mixed, which specializes in salads, soups, wraps and sandwiches. 

Mixed, a restaurant based out of Sioux Falls, began construction on their new Brookings location on March 1. The estimated opening date is sometime in May, depending on the progress of construction. The restaurant has a quick serve atmosphere that offers a variety of special menu items, as well as made-to-order options. 

 “We are like a fast casual restaurant. We specialize in better for you foods with flavor,” said Cole Shawd, Mixed founder and CEO. While the hours are still being fine-tuned, it is expected that they will be open somewhere from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. as they offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Brookings has always been an attractive market Shawd said, particularly due to its proximity to Sioux Falls. The company has been looking for a while but finally found the perfect location, in the Village Square. 

The Brookings location of Mixed will be unique in a couple of ways. While it is the fourth location, it will be the first location that has a drive-thru. The restaurant will also offer a full coffee menu, serving both hot and iced drinks, as well as a variety of smoothies. Mixed will brew Caribou brand coffee, and serve a variety of baked pastry items, adding to the coffeehouse feel. “It would be a good environment for students to relax and enjoy a healthy meal and do homework,” said Nicole Christensen, freshman pre-nursing major.

“The big difference is we are not a full blown license Caribou but we will brew their product, but we have our own specialty drinks,” Shawd said. The hope is with the coffeehouse atmosphere, customers will come in at any meal and relax with a laptop and enjoy a healthy meal option or a cup of coffee. 

The goal of the restaurant is to bring a healthy option to Brookings, targeting not only the community residents, but the university students. College students are attracted to a more fresh option, Shawd said. 

“It’s good that there are more healthy options, there aren’t that many places on campus that are that healthy for you,” Christensen said. The added selection will improve Brookings, and make it more comparable to other large college towns which have a larger selection of food and shopping options.

“I think the location with close proximity to campus will be great for business,” said Jeff Weldon, city manager of Brookings. The location in Brookings will be good for both Mixed as a company, and Brookings as a community, since the added option will further diversify the restaurant choices. 

“It will fill a need in the fast casual category,” said Jamison Lamp, assistant director of the Brookings Chamber of Commerce.

Brookings has a sound marketplace which attracts chains to the city and provides a sound economy to grow business, even through the recent recession Lamp said. The restaurant did their own research into coming to Brookings and the restaurant will not only attract current residents, but visitors as well, Weldon said. 

“It’s really family focused, but it’s geared toward college kids and business people,” Shawd said. “…We are really looking into supporting the community and the college … we are really looking forward to that.”