It’s an “all senses on deck” experience when you step into Red Mango and Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the beautiful high-end decor with its sleek open concept design. Your ears perk up at the cheerful voices of the employees’ warm welcome. Your nose is enticed by the combined aroma of fresh fruit, freshly baked cookies and other delights its varied menu offers. Your taste buds water in anticipation of the great food and beverages prepared right in front of you. And, as you touch your wallet in response to the affordable prices, you do so knowing that you’ve made an excellent decision.
“What you see is a picture of what I envisioned and is now a reality,” says Raj Narla, owner of Red Mango and Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip. Narla officially opened the franchises on December 20 at The Marketplace at Tech Center. By his side was his daughter, Swetha Narla, who is director of corporate operations for Amirita, Inc., the entity under which the franchises are owned and operated.
As a catalyst for purchasing a Red Mango franchise, Raj and Swetha maintain a strong connection and commitment to health and well being. Raj is a pharmacist at Walgreens and Swetha is currently studying for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
“As a pharmacist, when people come in to see me, I play a huge role in their health,” Raj says. “From a health industry standpoint, what I believe is the very thing that I should be doing—I wanted my stores to reflect what I believe.”
As the hallmark of Red Mango is healthy dining options, the prospect of providing all natural products, vegan and non-dairy, prepared with fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and super probiotics for the right prescription. As smoothies, yogurt and juices are the order of the day, customers are surprised and pleased by the significantly tasty difference that Red Mango’s quality-fresh ingredients provide. Says Raj, “Even our smoothies have probiotics.”
“I would never have pictured us as franchise owners because my dad and I are both focused in the area of healthcare,” says Swetha, “but with the choices of these stores, it’s easy to understand how they support our vision.”
The addition of Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip further addresses its focus on well being. “In life, you need a balance and an opportunity for a healthy indulgence,” says Swetha. “With our fresh ingredients, Toll House gives the best of both worlds.” From cookies and cookie cakes to ice cream and milkshakes, and from crepes to paninis to flatbreads, wraps and specialty coffees, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
“When I built the store, I had families and students in mind,” Raj says. “We have an open space, and seeing kids playing in that open space brings a smile to my face.”
As a student, Swetha recognizes the limited public locations available as study areas. To help address that need, the Narlas created an environment that is tranquil and family friendly.
In addition to the families and students who patronize the cafe, many of the 14 employees are also students. “I’m truly blessed with this very wonderful establishment and its incredible staff,” Raj says. “Three of my employees are my own patients’ kids. My heart beats with gratitude because they have entrusted me with their children.”
Looking ahead, their goal is to open multiple stores. Looking back, Raj is reflective on the fact that he left India in 2002 with limited resources, a strong pharmaceutical background and with hopes for a better future. “It was with God’s grace and my education that I am able to be here,” Raj says.
Customers have been responding to their desire to obtain excellent health-conscious food in a beautiful atmosphere with quality service. It’s not unusual to see Raj and Swetha going from table to table, checking to ensure they are well satisfied. As Raj says, from the looks on their faces, it’s easy to sense that they are.
TO THE POINT:
Red Mango and Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip
Address: 12080 Jefferson Ave., Bldg. 900,
Ste. 940, Newport News VA 23606
Contact: Bircan Coktasar or Tracey Bane
Business: Red Mango—frozen yogurt, smoothies and juice bar; Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip—desserts, specialty foods and beverages
Website: www.redmangousa.com and
Facebook: red mango (newport news, va)