ESSEX JUNCTION — In the summer, sometimes nothing will cool you off better than a fruity tea or a cold shake.
You can find both at Glow Nutrition, which opened last month on Pearl Street in Essex Junction.
Glow is a nutrition club owned by Tanya Lovely, who encourages customers to enjoy healthy options while benefiting from a network of support on their health journey.
Prior to opening Glow Nutrition, Lovely worked at a nutrition club in St. Albans for six months. She fell in love with the community the club created and soon felt the desire to lead her own.
“I'd kind of seen the ins and outs of how a club is owned and really liked the vibe and the community that it was building, so then I said to my husband, ‘Why don't we do this ourselves?’” Lovely remembered.
When Lovely found the location at 159 Pearl St. in April, she discovered it to be the perfect place to house her vision. Her husband built the counter, and she spent time figuring out how to make the basement space feel as welcoming as possible.
She asked herself: “What do we want the flow to look like? What do we want it to feel like when people come in? What will our interactions be like?”
A long time cheerleading coach, Lovely had to learn a lot about business ownership in a short amount of time.
“I've only had to really interact with the athletes,” she said. “Interacting more in a customer retail space forced a switch to thinking about what is it the customer needs, what is it the customer is looking for, what's going to make them want to keep coming back?”
What’s on the menu
Glow Nutrition’s two main options are teas and shakes, both of which are almost completely customizable.
The teas, which “pop” because of the included boba juice balls, are caffeinated but sugar-free. Teas like chai, peach, lemon and more are boosted with an herbal aloe, which supports digestive health. Depending on the size ordered, they cost $4-8.
The shakes, with their 24 grams of protein, can serve as meal replacements.
“If people are looking for a quick, healthy meal on the go, they can pop in and get one of those,” Lovely said.
The shakes, $7 each, are between 200-300 calories and come in a variety of flavor options, like cookies and cream, wildberry, banana caramel and piña colada.
Glow Nutrition staff are always discovering new flavor combinations for monthly and daily specials. Lovely is especially looking forward to what will be whipped up for July 4.
“We’re trying to find ways to add fun into what we're making, but not upping the unhealthy parts of it,” she said.
The menu also boasts protein coffees and options for kids, as well as protein bars.
While some customers just want to run into Glow Nutrition quickly for a smoothie, others seek to stay and find guidance on their health or fitness journey.
To provide that support, Lovely and her team started a transformation challenge. Customers signed up and joined a private Facebook group to participate in virtual workouts, share recipes and write messages of encouragement.
“We don't do a weight loss challenge because there's other ways that people can kind of go along their journey,” Lovely said. “We like to do transformation challenges to get people involved in a small, close-knit community.”
In the month since Glow Nutrition opened, 27 people have joined the current transformation challenge. The challenge includes customers from other area nutrition clubs too, like the ones in St. Albans, Enosburg and Williston.
Outside of the transformation challenge, Lovely is building community by visiting other Essex businesses during the work day for “tea drops.” As a resident of Georgia, she’s trying to learn the ins and outs of Essex by bringing tea samples and introducing herself.
“It's a little harder when you're not from the community, but I’m working on building those relationships,” she said. “I really like the community that Essex has and I’m interested in being a part of it."