Sun | May 28, 2017

Pocket rocket opens cafe

Published:Wednesday | May 6, 2015 | 5:01 PMRandy Bowman, Assistant Lifestyle Editor
The grand entrance to Shelly's Café on the University of Technology campus.
Brighten your day with a coffee smoothie from Shelly's Café.
Swacy-Joe Sutherland delved into her string bean and ripe plantain salad and coffee smoothie while waiting on her friends to join her for lunch at Shelly's Cafe, UTech.
Students are welcomed to take a break and relax in one of the cosy spots in Shelly’s Café.
Rudolph Brown/Photographer Shelly's refreshing signature drink, the Cherry Mint Lemonade.
Students are welcomed to take a break and relax in one of the cosy spots in Shelly's Café.
The grilled chicken panini made with pepper jack cheese, carmelised onion, grilled chicken, white submarine bread and served with sweet potato fries, tomato relish and garden salad.
The delectable chicken pasta salad.
The grilled chicken panini made with pepper Jack cheese, carmelised onion, grilled chicken, white submarine bread served with sweet potato fries, tomato relish and garden salad. This meal is complemented by a hot cup of latte and cappuccino in his and hers cups.
A hot cup of latte and cappuccino in his and hers cups to go in the black bag for him and the pink bag for her.
Gal pals made Shelly's Cafe a lunch date. Sipping on the deliciuous coffee smoothie are (from left) Zoya Nash, Swacy-Joe Sutherland and Tashique Grant.
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The Jamaican pocket rocket Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has embarked on yet another entrepreneurial venture. This time around, it a palatable pursuit. Fraser-Pryce is giving students of her alma mater (University of Technology, UTech) a chance to experience an atmosphere she had yearned for as a student, with Shelly's Cafe.

As UTech's ambassador, she told Food, "The campus lacked oomph. The regular parties were there, so if you were a partygoer, then you always had that option. But what about the others who didn't like to party, like myself? I am not a party person and so I wanted something that added life, spunk and came with a difference. I wanted to create a space that students would be eager to go and get enthused about while on campus."

She first had the thought of a cafe while she was a student on campus. "Funny enough, there was a group project I did while attending the university - studying child and adolescent development - where I pitched the idea of a cafÈ. As a result, we did a lot of research that included questionnaires such as what students thought of having a cafe on campus. They wanted it!" she explained to Food. Getting an A for her project, Fraser-Pryce was confident that opening a cafÈ would be warmly received.

Shelly's Cafe opened its doors on April 20, to an eager set of students. The hands-on, 28-year-old was around the cashier helping her staff keep us with the crowd. "We had to remove my signature drink, the Cherry Mint Lemonade smoothie from the board for three days. Everybody wanted it and we were not expecting such an overwhelming response so we had to go directly to the source for the ingredients in order to maintain the demand," said the gold medal Olympian.

Their tantalising menu will not disappoint. From scrumptious paninis, delicious wraps, to savoury salads and sweet treats, they also offer a wide array of hot and cold beverages, including perk-me-up coffees and relaxing smoothies.

To put the icing on the finger-licking cake, the cafe is equipped with free WiFi that can accommodate 20 persons at a time, against the backdrop of an aptly decorated venue featuring a warm, cosy atmosphere.

Aware of how difficult it can be to find filling affordable food options and as an athlete, Fraser-Pryce took that into serious consideration and chose carefully what was to be served in the cafe.

"What we found was that students tend to get fat from always sitting down and studying, with little to no exercise. So what we did was to create a filling shake with banana for potassium, soy or cow's milk, and a scoop of whey protein." This is not only a healthy and affordable meal option for a student on the go, it is also the perfect blend that is not packed with calories and oils, but a healthy and affordable meal option.

Still in its testing phase, the cafe will eventually employ students part time as currently the busy schedule doesn't lend itself to train persons. But Fraser-Pryce was quick to share that two employees, one of which prepared the flavourful dishes pictured, below are UTech past students.

And come September, with the reopening of school, the cafe will have karaoke nights, a vision bar and many other interesting themed events and activities to keep her passion alive.