Green River Star -

By Olivia Kennah
Staff Writer 

Snack shack offers cool refreshments

 


For those hot summer days spent at the splash park, there is a new snack shack that aims to keep the community refreshed and satisfied.

Liliana Villegas opened Chill Monkey at Evers Park because as a mother of four, she knows what it is like to forget drinks and snacks when spending a day at the park.

“There are always times when you forget, or completely miss something that you might need, so I thought it would be a great idea to build a business to fulfill that need,” Villegas said.

Villegas is happy to say her family has been involved in the decision making for the business. While brainstorming business names as a family, they wanted to “come up with a name that was new, catchy and trendy,” she said. Her son Hector Perez came up with the name Chill Monkey.

“I liked the play on words of Chill Monkey as it incorporated the idea of refreshing food, but also hinted at a laid-back, cool type of place, which is what I wanted for my business,” Villegas said. “I also took in consideration that his idea was modern, and would consequentially appeal to a younger audience.”

Her daughter Isabel Perez, a University of Wyoming graduate, was helped out by creating the logo and marketing tools to fit the family’s vision of what they wanted the business to be.

“I like that we could decide on the name and logo as a family,” Villegas said.

Before coming to Wyoming several years ago, Villegas owned her own daycare center for many years.

Her parents are also business owners so owning her own business has always been something she has wanted. Villegas’ mom is the owner of Mi Casita.

“For as long as I can remember, I have seen my mom cook at home daily and run food businesses,” she said. “I also cook at home daily, and have worked as a cook at Mi Casita, the local bowling alley and at the Hampton Inn and Suites.”

Through her cooking experiences, she has learned to make a diverse selection of foods and wanted to incorporate this diversity on her menu.

“We understand and celebrate that we all come from different families with varying cultures, education and eating traditions. In our menu, you can find anything from refreshments and fast food to healthy, low-calorie options to fit your diverse needs,” Villegas said.

Chill Monkey’s menu ranges from hot dogs to hoagies to fruit cups and smoothies.

For years, Villegas has had the concept of opening a business that sells fresh fruit and natural smoothies, as well as other various foods, and with there being no other snack shack like this in town she thought it would fill a need for the community.

“This type of business appealed to me, but the timing and opportunities were not right until now,” she said.

She expressed her gratitude for the support Chill Monkey received at this year’s Flaming Gorge Days.

“On Saturday, we had a line for our food for most of the day,” she said.

“I am so glad to know that our locals and even visitors love our food.”

She has noticed her customers seem to enjoy the smoothies and the Hoagie Subs a lot.

“We have had many customers pay a visit to get their Hoagie Subs simply because they hear the subs are amazing,” she said. “Our customers are passing the word about us to their friends and families and we are so excited about that.”

Villegas’ personal favorites on the menu are the smoothies and the Monkey Bobas.

“They are made from natural fruit and they are very refreshing for hot summer days.”

Chill Monkey will be open for the entirety of the summer season. It will be open this year until Oct. 1.

“As long as the opportunity is available, we will do everything possible to continue to open all summer seasons.”

 

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