Sports have been closed for months, barring athletes from their passions across the country.
With the absence of their sports, many have been looking for ways to stay in shape at home and maintain healthy eating habits for the past year—including the athletes of Six Nations.
In light of the times, Georgia Swarm, Chesapeake Bay Hawks, Six Nations Chiefs and Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse player Brendan Bomberry has worked with his partner and Certified Personal Trainer Gia Renzi to create ‘Smoothie Bombz.’
“We’re all missing our sports, trying to stay active, trying to eat as healthy as possible, and that was something that I really struggled with during the pandemic. Trying to stay on track and keep my body where I want it to be to be able to play at the high level,” said Brendan.
He said that he keeps an open mind when it comes to healthy habits during the pandemic, including the concept that “just because it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it can’t taste good.”
The play on words of “Bombz” from Bomberry opened as Renzi’s second small business with an announcement for homemade smoothie bowls opening on February 15 of this year, to “promote healthy eating that tastes and feels good.”
“Personally, I think a lot of kids go to their parents and say that they want something to eat, and their parents will say ‘go make a sandwich.’ But for me, my parents always said ‘go make a smoothie,’” said Brendan.
“It’s something that I always did growing up; mix and matching fruit, and we always had the freezer stocked with frozen berries from berry season,” he said. “We’re always trying to eat healthy and smoothie bowls are some of our favourites, so we thought it would be pretty cool to have something like that around Six Nations,” he said.
“We thought it was something that we were missing for sure.”
Their initiative grew from 20 orders on the first night to a full-time operation, and has already garnered regulars:
“I like the Acai Bowl the best but also the Peanut Butter one too. I can’t decide which one, they both taste delicious and the banana’s go just right with the peanut butter flavour,” said Mackenzie Bomberry, who has been ordering regularly from Smoothie Bombz.
“From having a smoothie bowl in the morning, it has made me more energized and gotten me to eat breakfast everyday in the morning. I sort of skip it sometimes, and I’ve eaten fruit with every meal now,” she said.
And those looking to make similar lifestyle changes are welcomed.
“I think that one of the challenges living around here is that there’s not a lot of healthy options,” said Brendan. “We all have our favourites, but there’s not a lot of healthy options that are accessible. That’s where we wanted to fill that void and be there for people that are aspiring to eat healthy and change their lifestyles up.”
On the presentation side, Renzi makes sure that the bowls are appealing to the eye as the toppings double as an aesthetic and nutrient booster.
“She’s really good at making the bowls look nice and I’m really good at making the combination of the ingredients taste good, so I think we’re a really good team,” said Brendan. “It’s something that I’m really enjoying so far, and we can’t tell everyone how much we appreciate their support enough.”
From the Acai Bowl to the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Bowl, the bowls are packed with whey protein bases to make them filling and toppings to make them nutrient dense. For some of the options, the flavour can be misleading in a positive way:
“It’s a good thing for some parents to know that with some of the smoothies, you’re able to sneak in different supplements or fruits and veggies kids may not like, but they can’t taste it in the smoothie. That’s one thing that I do for my son and younger siblings is sneak in those nutrients that they wouldn’t have otherwise.”
As for the goal of their small business, there is promise for growth. Bomberry explained that offering the bowls is just a start, as the duo are hopeful to build on the platform to offer more variety for those in the area in the future.
Smoothie Bombz recently added a new menu to their Instagram page that allows those interested to view their bowls, prices and ingredients in a Jot Form. You can find it here: form.jotform.com/210446932315047 and their Instagram page can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/smoothiebombz/
Renzi is from Syracuse, NY, and is a certified personal trainer and owner of two small businesses. She is also a retired cheerleader from Syracuse University.
Bomberry is from Six Nations and has played at the highest level of the game in both box and field lacrosse – World Stage with the Iroquois Nationals, professionally with Georgia Swarm (NLL) Chesapeake Bayhawks (MLL), Sr. A with the Six Nations Chiefs, Division 1 at the University of Denver before transferring to Syracuse University, and in the most competitive Jr. A league in Canada with the Six Nations Arrows. Brendan is considered one of the top junior A players in recent history being the only player ever to win both MVP and the Jim Bishop award for leadership, sportsmanship and outstanding play in the same year. Since graduating from Syracuse, Brendan has been committed to sharing and teaching his knowledge of the game to the next generation of lacrosse players.