VIRGINIA — A refreshing and nutritious cold shake can be a great meal replacement, or even a post-workout treat, any time of the year.
But for these chilly days, the newly opened Bright Spot Nutrition also has a warm and soothing option — hot shakes.
Employees describe them as “just like drinking warm hot chocolate.” But with lots of added nutrition and a variety of flavors.
The Virginia business, which sells meal replacement shakes — or as owner Kim Yordy puts it, a “meal in a cup” — opened Oct. 28 at 102 N. Third Ave. W. It also offers other wellness products.
It has been several years since the city has had a Herbalife nutrition club, but one is back in town, thanks to Yordy, who was involved with a club in Hibbing for many years before deciding to open her own.
Customers so far have ranged from high school students, to employees at nearby downtown businesses, to people who just want to get healthier, have more energy or lose weight.
Yordy, of Toivola Township, said she cares deeply about “helping people have a good day — being a bright spot in their day,” and that’s how the name came about.
The interior of the shop is a bright and sunny space, complete with a big sun painted on a wall and bright yellow decor.
Positive sayings are painted around the rays of the sun: “Be fearless;” “Keep moving forward;” “Believe in yourself;” “Live in the moment.”
Yordy said she envisions the shop, with barstool and lower seating, as a place where kids do homework and people can gather to enjoy a tea, shake and shot of aloe.
For those unfamiliar with Herbalife nutrition clubs, the meal-replacement nutrition consists of three steps, Yordy said.
First, customers pick either a cranberry- or mango-flavored shot of aloe. “It helps the digestive system absorb the nutrition,” Yordy said.
Next, they choose a tea.
Level One teas are metabolism boosters, providing energy with 85 milligrams of caffeine in most and “burning 100 calories per serving,” Yordy said. There is also a caffeine-free “relaxation tea.”
Teas come in flavors such as raspberry, peach, pomegranate, and chai. There are also “sweet teas,” such as the “skittles,” which “tastes just like a handful of Skittles,” she said.
Level Two are “active teas,” which include a scoop of beverage mix, for extra protein, and collegian. “The combination gives you an energized snack with a collagen boost,” Yordy said. The most popular is the “starburst,” which tastes like Starburst candies, she said.
Level Three are “tea bombs,” enhanced with a shot of aloe and a “Liftoff” — which adds another 75 milligrams of caffeine. “It’s like a healthy Monster drink,” Yordy said. “It puts pep in your step.” Flavors include “fuzzy navel,” “razzle dazzle,” and “peach twist.”
Step three is selection of a shake.
Shakes come in 40 flavors. There are fruity shakes, such as “blueberry muffin,” “strawberry cheesecake,” and “Elvis,” a combination of banana and peanut butter.
Dessert shakes include “cake batter,” “French toast,” “pistachio,” “cherry-dipped cone,” and “rainbow sherbet.”
There are also coffee-flavored options.
The shakes provide 24 grams of protein, 21 vitamins and minerals, and range from 230 to 280 calories per shake.
And there’s more.
Customers can upgrade to post-workout shakes, offering 32 grams of protein, or order shakes “boosted” with a Liftoff. A scoop of probiotics can be added as well.
And there are “donut shots” that contain a fat-burning Herbalife product. They can be added to shakes or taken as shot. Yordy says they taste just like a doughnut.
If customers don’t like a flavor of shake, “we will replace it,” she said.
Additionally, there are featured shakes each month. Current flavors range from “pumpkin pie” to “apple butter scone.” Next month, Yordy expects to serve “candy cane” and “eggnog” shakes.
“For those who need dairy-free, we offer a shake that is allergen-free, made from a combination of pea, rice, and quinoa. We have options for gluten-free and active lifestyles,” she said. “We are all about a healthy lifestyle and have something for everyone.”
The shakes are healthy for everyone, she added.
Yordy, a grandma of six youngsters, ages 10 months to 7 years, said aside from the youngest who is too little to use a straw, they are all “shake babies.” They enjoy coming into the shop for a child-sized shake.
And her daughters and daughters-in-law all drank the shakes while they were pregnant. In fact, the protein boost can often help with morning sickness, which is sometimes caused by a lack of protein, she said.
Bright Spot Nutrition has two “perks” options for regular customers — a punch card and another pay-ahead card program that provides bonuses.
The shakes are “delicious and filling and there are so many choices,” said customer Tammy Spelts, who was at the shop on its opening day and has frequented it since.
“My favorite is the ‘lemon ice box,’ with lemon tea and of course an ‘ignite me’ Liftoff,” she said, adding that “you can call ahead or text them and they will have it ready for you. It saves me a ton of my precious time.”
Patrons can place pre-orders at 218-750-3623; simply request what flavors and the time of pick-up.
The business’ hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. “Oftentimes we are ready to start serving by 7:20 for those early risers,” she noted.
“I love building relationships with people,” said Yordy, who enjoys learning about customers and calling them by name.
She has nine employees, four of whom are Herbalife distributors and can help people order products.
“We can also set them up with a nutrition plan.” Plans are personalized for the customer’s goals and based on body type. “We have a Tanita scale” that measures a person’s hydration level, body fat percentage, and muscle mass.
Bright Spot will eventually offer classes — one of the team members is a licensed life coach — and Yordy expects to hold weight loss challenges. “Through it all, you gain friends and it’s nice to have an accountability partner.”
But Yordy said her favorite part of the job “is serving healthy shakes and getting to know (customers).”
And, of course, having the opportunity “to make somebody’s day.”
Virginia has offered “a very warm welcome,” she added.
Bright Spot Nutrition “has great service,” Spelts said. “It’s a great asset to our community.”
“We are here for the long haul. We are putting down roots,” Yordy said, noting that she is excited to be part of — and get involved with — the business community.
Bright Spot also offers “tea drops” for local businesses — a sampling of some of its teas.
It’s just another way “to be a bright spot in their day.”