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Kevin Gelfand and Martin Reiman – Shake Smart

It was the long drive home that prompted then-student Kevin Gelfand (’11, management) to toy with the idea of creating his business.

Protein is best utilized by the body within 30 minutes of ending a physical work-out and Gelfand had developed a good-tasting, low-calorie protein shake. However, the drive between the SDSU’s Aztec Recreation Center (the ARC) and his home frequently took more than a half an hour which lessened the shake’s effectiveness.

Shake Smart Shake exampleRealizing that others were likely in the same boat, Gelfand and fellow SDSU business student, Martin Reiman (’12, marketing), embarked on a business plan that would offer other ARC members the opportunity to get their protein shakes almost immediately upon leaving the gym.

"The hardest part of expansion is learning to be patient with new opportunities. " - - Kevin Gelfand

Using the expertise and intellectual resources of several members of the SDSU College of Business Administration’s faculty, the two eventually hit pay dirt when they were allowed to set up their first Shake Smart stand next to the ARC in January 2011. It was the first time that a business run by students was allowed to operate on the SDSU campus.

Shake Smart number one still does a brisk business on the west side of campus and it has been joined by a second SDSU location in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. There are three other outlets in San Diego County at the Westfield UTC mall, the Oceanside location of LA Fitness and at Paige Fieldhouse at Camp Pendleton. Collectively, the five stores employ 80 people and Gelfand and Reiman, now both 25, have plans to open two more locations at college campuses in Southern California.

“We raised $450,000 to expand the business by focusing on product development and exploring new expansion possibilities,” said Gelfand. “The hardest part of expansion is learning to be patient with new opportunities. We’d like to move 100 miles an hour, but when you are not the only moving part in the equation, you have to learn to be flexible and allocate your time into productive activities during the process.”

In addition to being flexible and patient, Gelfand would also advise budding SDSU entrepreneurs to set daily goals. “As an entrepreneur it is important to be able to self-motivate and create your own tasks,” he explained. “I have found that setting daily achievable goals is very effective in managing my time and helping me to complete necessary tasks.”