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Exoneree Runs Smoothie Chain, Making Up For 27 Years Of Lost Entrepreneurship

Mark Schand scoops ice cream at his Sweetwater smoothie cafe in New Britain, Connecticut. Photo by Karen Brown for NEPR

Mark Schand scoops ice cream at his Sweetwater smoothie cafe in New Britain, Connecticut. Photo by Karen Brown for NEPR

From his prison cot, for 27 years, Mark Schand plotted out a retail empire he’d been envisioning since well before his arrest.

“I would lay in bed, my eyes wide open, looking at the ceiling, and just thinking of a color scheme, and picture the uniform,” said Schand.

He’d also imagine eating – and serving – something other than prison slop.

“The food in there is atrocious,” he said. “I mean, everything is dehydrated. I’d just try to stay away from the processed stuff they sell in the commissary.”

That may explain why today, five years after a Massachusetts judge vacated his murder conviction, Schand is a devotee to fitness and nutrition. It also explains why his new chain of smoothie bars, called Sweetwater, advertises only fresh ingredients.

Visit WBUR for the full story.