Auntie Anne’s, Jamba store opens this week near Marquette University

Local franchisee brings first-to-market concept to Milwaukee

The new Jamba-Auntie Anne's store opening at 1614 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Auntie Anne’s and Jamba will begin serving up soft pretzels and smoothies this week from a new shared location on Milwaukee’s near west side.

Housing both Auntie Anne’s and Jamba (formerly known as Jamba Juice) concepts, the business has taken over the former Pita Brothers space at 1614 W. Wisconsin Ave., on the west end of Marquette University’s campus. The store is ready to open its doors on Thursday, Dec. 17, said local franchise owner Cherie Blackman.

Construction wrapped up in November at the 1,900-square-foot storefront, sandwiched between Cousins Subs and Maki Yaki Japanese Grill. Auntie Annes and Jamba, which are both owned by Atlanta-based Focus Brands Inc., occupy their own half of the space.

Blackman said the new store is the “first of many” quick-service franchise locations for her business entity, MC LAB Enterprises LLC. It’s also the first stand-alone Auntie Anne’s/Jamba store in the U.S., not to be confused with the handful of co-brand stores that have opened inside shopping malls following Focus Brands’ 2019 acquisition of Jamba Juice. 

“We are so very excited to bring this to the Milwaukee community,” said Blackman. 

Blackman is leasing the Wisconsin Avenue space from Marquette University. She said the site stood out from other available real estate in Milwaukee.

“We looked around the city at many locations and when we came across this location, it just felt like home,” said Blackman. 

Auntie Anne’s currently has 17 locations across Wisconsin, including eight stores and a mobile food truck in the greater Milwaukee area. Jamba has two Wisconsin locations, at the Brookfield Fashion Center in Brookfield and at East Pointe Marketplace in Milwaukee.

The new Auntie Anne’s/ Jamba store is currently hiring. It will be open daily, starting at 9 a.m., and Blackman has applied for an extended hours permit to operate late night. The concept focuses on carryout service, but limited inside seating is available, according to permit applications filed with the city.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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