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Small Business Spotlight: Downtown Jackson Nutrition

Being a small business owner is a tough job! That’s why we feature a different small business in our Small Business Spotlight every month. Today we visit Downtown Jackson Nutrition in Jackson.

Do the words “nutrition club” make you think of muscular bodies and people talking about their BMI? If so, dear reader, we hate to tell you that you are wrong – at least where Downtown Jackson Nutrition is concerned. This is a calming place where the menu and the human interactions are intentionally nourishing for people of all ages and health needs.

That word, nourishing, comes up a lot in conversation with owners Bekah and Nick Walsh. The pair are driven professionals, brimming with ideas and a commitment to succeed through service to their customers.

A warm greeting and knowledgeable staff are a signature of this place. Have time to stay and visit? It feels like a cozy coffee shop. In a rush? They will fix you up quickly so you can be on your way. The menu includes teas, protein shakes, fruit smoothies, coffee and even oatmeal made to order with high quality ingredients. All of these items are good for you with no artificial sweeteners but a world of flavor. Plus, extra boosts of vitamins, collagen and probiotics are available to naturally provide energy, heal the gut and help skin and nail health.

Their biggest sellers are their energy teas. While they do sell traditional teas, their specialties are actually drinks called teas that taste nothing like tea. “The biggest hurdle we face is the people who don’t like tea,” Nick explained. “Our teas aren’t anything like what you’re thinking.”

For example, the Tired Mama is a mix of orange and other flavors that tastes like a summer day over ice. Monthly specials keep customers coming back to try new things but their regular menu is so extensive it would take months to try it all.

Even hot chocolate and coffee are subject to becoming healthy with added protein.

It’s hard to believe that oatmeal with names like Buckeye and Glazed Maple Donut could possibly be good for you but Bekah says they are nutritious despite their decadent names. “I am absolutely hooked on our oatmeal. I never really liked oatmeal before but I love this stuff,” she said.

“We aren’t just about the drinks though. It’s all about the mind, body and soul. We try to see the positive in everything and only give the positive too,” Bekah said.

That’s because they also host a yoga class every Saturday at 9 a.m. The cost is by donation.  Plus, they organize a monthly series called Mental Health Mondays. Held the first Monday of every month, this series focuses on a different topic each month. They have covered topics like grief and even boundaries and balance. Their next Mental Health Monday will talk about body positivity and will be held at 5:30 p.m. on February 6.

Ask Nick and Bekah to talk about their business and their enthusiasm and energy are contagious. They call this their “Happy Place” and they work hard to make it everyone else’s happy place. “We train our staff to have meaningful interactions with our customers. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a regular customer, we want you to feel welcome, to know we are glad to see you here,” Nick said. “We have regulars who drive from other places, who drive past other clubs, to come here. That means a lot to us.”

What’s their secret? The two agree that they are partly able to enjoy the business better and to bring fresh perspective every day because it isn’t the only thing they do.

“We call this our happy place because this is where we come to for fun, to get away from everything else. That takes the pressure off but it also means that we want to work harder to improve and grow,” Nick explained.

In their day jobs, Nick is a beverage distributor and Bekah is a director of nursing and yoga instructor. For all their career and life experience, they said that small business ownership has taught them more than they ever learned in a classroom. “We’ve learned more real life skills than we ever learned in college. How to set up an LLC, how to be HR and deal with employees, how to deal with all the backend things that no one ever talks about when it comes to running your own business,” Nick said.

While the business has existed for over two years, the couple just purchased it last fall and set out to apply their personal touches. They have weekly white board sessions where they brainstorm, talk about what’s working, what needs attention and new ideas. Bekah said she loves how she can come to a white board session with just a spark of an idea and the pair of them can put their heads together to create something impactful.

The common thread through all that they do involves gratitude. “If you embrace gratitude, you’ll find it much easier to be happy,” Bekah said with a smile. Right now, the pair are happy for the life they have built and for the nourishment they are able to offer the community through their small business.

Downtown Jackson Nutrition is located at 402 East Huron Street, just off Main Street in Jackson. With drinks that are as pretty as they are delicious, it’s no wonder they have a selfie wall. Pause for a quick pic with your friends and drinks to remember how much you loved the experience. Click here to follow them on Facebook!  



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