Alumnus-owned cafe relocates

Blacksburg, Va., Feb 26 – SETTING UP SHOP: Foamo showed off its new location downtown at a grand opening on February 18. Photo: Sarah Carr

by Sarah Carr —

A cafe that once set up shop on Main Street, has now moved to a new location deeper into downtown Blacksburg. 

Foamo Cafe owner and recent Virginia Tech graduate, Youssef Rhanime, says that there were multiple reasons for the sudden relocation. 

“Families would be coming in with their kids and there was nowhere to sit. We were losing a lot of business because we couldn’t accommodate multiple people, so that was the initial reason I was looking for another spot,” said Rhanime. 

He came across a location downtown that was perfect for a new raw juice and smoothie business concept he had in the works. That’s when it all clicked for Rhanime. 

“I realized that the concept was so similar to what Foamo already does, so I might as well just move Foamo to the better location and kill two birds with one stone in terms of being able to add those things that I want to add.”

According to Restaurant Hospitality, two of the main reasons those in the food industry move their business is due to the desire for more space, or due to a rent increase that was out of the restaurant’s control. 

In Foamo’s case, an increase in space and a more central location to downtown will add what Rhanime hopes is more foot traffic coming in and out of the cafe. 

With the new location being closer to the Virginia Tech campus as well, students have better access to the cafe than before – a change that Virginia Tech student, Aditi Shukla, says is a great thing. 

“The previous location was kind of far from campus. If it moved right across from the Milk Parlor, the old salsa night place, then I think it will be easier for students to access, even during school hours,” said Shukla. 

Over 50% of the working population is employed by a small business according to Yahoo, highlighting the importance of businesses like Foamo and the impact it has on the community of Blacksburg. 

While the location is entirely new, the menu, decor and overall feel of the cafe has remained the same during the transition from Main Street to downtown, with the addition of smoothie and toast options coming in the following weeks. 

Overall Rhanime describes the transition to downtown as bittersweet, the relocation process having both its pros and cons. 

“It was kind of a sudden decision, we moved literally in about a two week time span. A lot of people thought it was a situation where we just left or we just closed up shop. The hardest thing is going to be trying to get everybody back through the doors.”


“Fitspiration” Phenomenon

Blacksburg, Va., Feb. 10 – Fitspiration: There are many social media apps available for meal and workout inspiration. Photo: Sarah Carr

by Sarah Carr —

There’s no question that social media has influenced many parts of society today. From food, to travel to even fitness – there is an account for every interest. The question that then arises is, “is it a good thing?”

Kiara McGuire, a personal trainer at McComas Gym at Virginia Tech said she has seen first hand how impactful social media can be on fitness. 

“I had a client that came in, and one of their goals was to lose 40 pounds in two weeks. He showed me pictures on social media of the body he wanted to look like. We had to have a long talk.” said McGuire.

It’s “the crazy waves of trying to lose weight,” and other fitness fads that trainers like McGuire said can make the seemingly harmless “fitspiration” phenomenon so dangerous. 

According to a study done in INSIDER, “women who viewed a set of Instagram fitness images reported lower levels of body satisfaction than women who viewed a set of Instagram travel images.”

While social media sites such as Instagram can be a breeding ground for comparison to some, it also provides inspiration and a sense of community to others. 

Camden Carpenter, an avid social media user and student at Virginia Tech said that apps like Pinterest have helped her find new workouts and recipes, tailored to her liking. 

“With social media, it’s really easy to find someone that aligns with your dietary restrictions and allergies instead of having to flip through Google and use all of these search words where you still might not get a recipe,” said Carpenter.

It’s the ease and accessibility that makes social media so impactful on the fitness community. A study by Cleveland Clinic in Parade Magazine showed that 55% of Americans use social media for diet and workout advice. 

It seems that there are both positive and negative effects to social media’s impact on fitness, but it ultimately comes down to the user and how they react to these accounts when scrolling through their feed every day.

Blacksburg, Va., Feb 9. – Kiara McGuire, personal trainer at Virginia Tech. Photo: Sarah Carr
Blacksburg, Va., Feb 7 – Camden Carpenter, social media user and student at Virginia Tech. Photo: Sarah Carr