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February 2, 2024

Friday Food Insider: Portland smoothie business will expand to Brunswick, Scarborough

Hand holding smoothie in front of storefront Photo / Alexis Wells Blake Orchard will open at 2 Station Ave. in Brunswick and in Dunstan Village in Scarborough. Here's the location at 561 Forest Ave. in Portland.

Smoothie bowl lovers, take note: Blake Orchard is expanding its operation to Brunswick and Scarborough.

After nearly a decade of running the business, Alexandra Blake Messenger, the founder and owner of Blake Orchard at 561 Forest Ave. in Portland, felt it was time to level up. 

“I told myself that I would give myself 10 years to enjoy my business and learn it to the core,” said Messenger. “There were many years that I wanted to be working in the kitchen every single day because I genuinely loved it, and I still do, but I knew that to grow in the way that I wanted to, I had to get that out of my system first.” 

The first new cafe is scheduled to open in April or May at 2 Station Ave. in Brunswick, and the second is slated to launch this fall in Dunstan Village in Scarborough. All three locations will have very similar menus, including smoothie drinks and bowls, raw cold-pressed juices, matcha and coffee. 

“I chose Scarborough and Brunswick for many different reasons,” said Messenger. “We love to be a part of our local community, and I feel like both towns have great communities that I’m confident will welcome us in with open arms.

"We already have customers from both areas who travel to Portland to see us regularly and many that can only get to us once in a while and have been asking us for years to expand," she continued. "These two locations give us the opportunity to reach existing and new customers who are south of Portland and north of Portland.”

Renovations have begun in Brunswick and they are pretty extensive, Messenger said. She is going for a very light and airy feel: replacing the tile flooring with wide planks, taking down walls to create more spaces, and building a new wall of windows that will look into the kitchen. There are also additions of wall tiles, signature wallpaper, rattan pendant lights and a new front counter out of stone and wood materials. The Brunswick location is 1,524 square feet and will accommodate up to 29 people. 

While Scarborough is still in the design stage, the space will face U.S. Route 1 with an outdoor patio and many windows for natural light to come in. The new Scarborough space is 1,500  square feet and will accommodate up to 30 people. There will also be additional seating on the seasonal outdoor patio. 

How the business started 

Messenger told Mainebiz that her passion for juice, smoothie bowls and milk-making started after she studied abroad in Australia and Scotland. She discovered she wanted to take an unusual career path.

“I realized how big the world was and wanted more from it,” said Messenger. “I knew that I wanted to start my own business in the wellness space, but I wasn’t sure of what that would be until my semester in Scotland.”

“After Scotland, I came home totally obsessed with making fresh juice, green smoothies, and smoothie bowls at home,” she continued, “I would actually bribe my friends to come hang out at my house instead of theirs by offering to make them what is now our Berry Bowl with our beloved honey-roasted peanut butter.”

In 2014, her parents bought her a juice maker, which is how she developed the recipes she still uses today.

She started selling cold-pressed juices and homemade nut milks at farmers' markets throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. She continued to do this for a year until she decided that if she wanted this business to be successful, she would have to pivot and open a storefront that offered more than just juice. 

“At the time, juice bars were really gaining popularity on the West Coast, so I felt like I had a golden opportunity to be one of the first to bring that to the East Coast,” said Messenger.

In 2016, she moved from her native Massachusetts to Portland. She opened Blake Orchard’s first-ever brick-and-mortar location that year on Exchange Street. 

“When I opened on Exchange Street in June 2016, I had no idea how to operate a kitchen or manage employees,” said Messenger. “I had a lot to learn, and I knew that. I also can't tell you how many times a day we would have to explain what a smoothie bowl was to our customers. It was that new of a concept at the time.

“I come from a family of successful business owners and am very fortunate to have had them as mentors in my early years,” she continued.  

Both locations will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Which smoothie spot do you like to visit? I'm excited to get my strawberry bowl at Blake Orchard's new Scarborough location. The Mainebiz Food Insider wants to hear from you. Contact Alexis Wells at

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