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Sherri Richards, Published February 28 2014

Trade Talk: Tropical Smoothie Café to open in Fargo

A food-and-smoothie franchise is expected to open a Fargo location by the end of April.

Tropical Smoothie Café will be located at 2424 13th Ave. S.

The fast-casual restaurant offers real fruit smoothies, sandwiches, wraps and salads, said Ryan Seeger, a franchise co-owner.

There are just under 400 Tropical Smoothie Café locations across the country, including one in the Twin Cities, Seeger said.

Tropical Smoothie Café’s five-year strategy is to have 750 franchise restaurants by 2019, according to an industry news release issued last month.

The chain is just beginning to develop in the Midwest, Seeger said.

“With the increasing awareness of health and wellness, fitness, we thought it would be great to bring to the Fargo-Moorhead area some healthy menu items that are a good alternative to eating fast food,” he said.

The local store will employ about five to seven people, Seeger said. Hours of operation are still pending, but it will be open seven days a week and offer breakfast, he said.

Seeger and his business partner, James Hensyel, operate two other local franchises: direct-mail service Valpak and Core Fitness, located near their new restaurant.

A menu can be seen at tropicalsmoothiecafe.com.

Jade Presents launches new event division

Concert promoter Jade Presents has launched a new division, Jade Events, which offers consultation, planning and project management on area events and exhibitions.

The first major event under the new division is the Fargo Bacon and Beer Festival on March 8 at Scheels Arena.

The Jade Events team includes Aaron Duma and Pennie Fike, co-directors of events, and owner Jade Nielsen.

Jade Presents was in the news this week for signing a three-year deal with Fargo Public Schools to produce concerts at Bluestem Center for the Arts.

Duma has worked for Usher’s House, Hotel Donaldson and Plaza 4-10 Liquors.

Fike was previously an associate producer with Blue Man Productions in New York and an event manager with Jam Theatricals, Chicago.

Nielsen is a 23-year veteran of the entertainment industry, having promoted and produced nearly 6,000 events.

The company is at 218 Broadway and can be reached at (701) 298-0071.

Monte’s to donate percent of sales to United Way

Monte’s Downtown has launched a partnership with the United Way of Cass-Clay, donating 10 percent of all sales every Tuesday to the organization.

The promotion, called DINE UNITED, kicked off this week at the fine-dining restaurant at 220 Broadway, Fargo.

Dollars raised from the Tuesday sales will support local education for students, safety in the community and efforts to combat homeless and hunger.

Christian D’Agostino is Monte’s executive chef, and Dan Hurder is managing partner.

Hurder has said he would be proud and grateful if they could contribute around $10,000 to the United Way in the promotion’s first year.

Monte’s is open 11 a.m. to midnight on Tuesdays. To reach the restaurant, call (701) 526-0149.

Nominations sought for tourism awards

Nominations are being sought for North Dakota Governor’s Awards for Travel and Tourism, which will be presented at an industry conference April 14-16 in Fargo.

The awards recognize outstanding tourism leaders, events and attractions in the state.

Categories for annual awards are front-line tourism employee, tourist attraction of the year, behind-the scenes tourism employee and event of the year.

Other awards that may be given are travel and tourism leader, tourism organization of the year, the International Tourism Award and Wade Westin Award for Marketing.

Nominations can be made at www.ndtourism.com/travel-industry-conference-awards-nomination-form.

For more information call (800) 435-5663 or (701) 328-2525.

The deadline for nominations is March 14.

Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556 or srichards@forumcomm.com