Smoothie shop opens for sixth year

The Daily News

Roger Conatser stands outside Island Muncie, the smoothie stand located behind his home. Conatser, a former photographer, got the idea to open the business catering to people who use the nearby Cardinal Greenway. DN PHOTO SAFARALI SAYDSHOEV
Roger Conatser stands outside Island Muncie, the smoothie stand located behind his home. Conatser, a former photographer, got the idea to open the business catering to people who use the nearby Cardinal Greenway. DN PHOTO SAFARALI SAYDSHOEV




A tasty landmark, “The Island Muncie” on the Cardinal Greenway has reopened for the summer. It’s just a short bike ride from campus. The island is open 5 p.m. to dark from mid-May until the beginning of October.  


The island is a tropical concession seasonal business where people can get smoothies, ice cream, Jamaican Jerk chicken, and drinks. 

  

This is the sixth year for owner Roger Conatser, who runs the island on the edge of the greenway. 


“It’s really like a little island once you come off the greenway. There is not traffic, or many buildings around, just flowers and the noise of the island waterfall,” he said. 


Conatser’s 6-year-old daughter first gave him the idea of making smoothies for bike riders on the greenway. 


“My daughter and I were making smoothies one day and she saw bikers passing from our kitchen window on the greenway and said, ‘Dad we need to make smoothies for those people,’” Conatser said. “It was a hit on my head to just start building a place like this.” 


He said he then contacted the Greenway and asked for permission to build a concession side. Once he received permision, he built it in his backyard.


Conatser is a former U.S. Air Force photographer who has traveled to many countries. 


“As a photographer I used to travel a lot to Jamaica and had always wanted to have a place where people would find their peace and relax,” he said, 


Kevin Downard, a computer technician at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital, knew Conatser even before he started the island. 


“I get the best smoothies in the world here in the island,” Downard said. “The island is amazing, it’s like stepping outside of Muncie.” 


Downard really likes every special that they offer, especially the Acai Pomegranate Blueberry smoothie. 


First time customer Rhea Leisure said she enjoyed her first smoothie. 


“It’s amazing and I will bring my daughter with me next time.” she said. 


Conatser said he enjoys serving his customers. 


“Island always makes people come together and relax. And this is the reason why we still keep this place to bring joy to people,” said Conatser.  


The Island Muncie caters bikers and walkers who use the greenway daily.


Conatser’s island sees up to 50 people per day while it’s open, but is not limited only to smoothies. People can also have birthday parties, baby showers and weddings there.


Some customers find information about the Island and come from as far as Ohio. 


“We do not advertise, and rely on word of mouth,” Conatser said. “But sometimes I even see people coming from Ohio and other cities around just by hearing about this place.”


Conatser said The Island Muncie is his little paradise where he sees others relaxing and having a good time. 

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