Jan 17, 2013 9:12 AM by Samantha Ptashkin
TUCSON- A 20-year-old student at the University of Arizona is a couple years away from earning his degree, but he already has a job lined up and it's one he created himself.
In November business major Eddie Prchal opened up NRG Blends. It's a smoothie/supplement shop located at 1122 East 6th Street.
The idea came to Prchal his freshman year. "At first when I went to college, I got a little out of shape," Prchal says. "Everyone gains the freshman 15 and I knocked it out of the park."
While getting back in shape, Prchal noticed there weren't a lot of health shops right around campus, so he connected with the right people and decided to open his own.
Given his age, the idea took many by surprise. "I honestly thought he was the son of the owner of the store," says Customer Manuel Sanchez.
"I actually thought he was a little bit crazy, but he pitched the idea to me and was selling it and told me he thought I'd be great to work here," says NRG Blends Employee Natalie Aguilar.
Three months in, Prchal has about a dozen employees and business seems to be running smoothly, for the most part. "It's 24 degrees out and not many people want a smoothie," Prchal says.
He's hoping business will pick up when it warms up in the Old Pueblo, regardless, most would say his shop is a great accomplishment for any 20-year-old.
However, you have to hear about Prchal's past to understand why the store means so much to him. "I've always been really motivated to go out there and do something, but once you lose everything you definitely understand how much more you want it and how much more you're willing to do for it," Prchal says.
While he was in high school, Prchal's father lost his job and his mother was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. "Then my mom passed away on her birthday, June 30, 2009, and that day we also lost our house," Prchal says.
From that day on Prchal vowed to make his mother proud.
And while the road to business owner hasn't been easy, it seems this college student has a recipe for success that is leading him in the right direction. "So far we've had a great reaction, so you kinda never know until you take the step out of the door," Prchal says.
He hopes to one day open up more stores near college campuses across the country.