Brenda Engelhardt entered Brookfield Nutrition with a smile on her face.
“I’m a regular,” she said as Brianna Arci mixed up Engelhardt’s favorite drink, an iced coffee mocha.
Engelhardt said she has been a patron of Brookfield Nutrition, 7188 Warren Sharon Road, since it opened, and comes back for the products, the atmosphere and the people.
“I love it here,” she said.
That opinion hasn’t changed since Arci took over the business in September, buying it from Megan May and Tony Walls, who opened the store in June 2021.
Arci is an unlikely entrepreneur, an 18-year-old who graduated from Hubbard High School last spring, and whose only business experience was working at a Subway Restaurant.
But, she believes in the Brookfield Nutrition concept.
“When Hubbard (Nutrition) first opened up, I walked in for the first time and I loved the community and the vibes in there,” Arci said. “I like how all the products made me feel. I instantly knew it was something I wanted to do because of how positive it was.”
Hubbard Nutrition owner Dana Hughes coached her, and the employees of other nutrition stores encouraged her to open her own shop, she said.
“At first, I really didn’t know if I was capable of it (opening a business) but then, just being around the people that were doing it, made me more positive in thinking I could do it,” Arci said. “They helped me achieve it.”
Arci put her own stamp on Brookfield Nutrition, switching out the furniture and changing some of the colors.
“I want it to be really a positive spot for people of all ages to be able to hang out at,” she said. “I want everyone to feel welcome.”
Brookfield Nutrition offers energizing teas, protein shakes and coffees, and the mixes Arci uses to make them. The store also sells protein cake pops, protein doughnuts and protein pudding parfaits.
“We have all the chocolatey, fruity and even coffee flavors,” Arci said of the 80 shake flavors she sells. “For coffee, we have house blend and mocha. We also have other fun flavors. We have a doughnut shop fat reducer, which acts as our creamer.”
“They’re looking for alternatives to all those sugary drinks, that actually help them feel good and help lose weight,” Arci said of her customers. “I know a lot of people don’t really like drinking all the Starbucks and Dunkin, so they come here instead.”
That part about losing weight, Arci can testify to that.
“I personally lost 40 pounds on the products,” she said. “I stayed consistent and changed my diet. I was also prediabetic and I had problems with my A1C before I started losing weight with the products. After I lost that weight, my A1C went back to normal, and I wasn’t prediabetic anymore. It helped with my health overall.”
Brookfield Nutrition is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. At present, Arci is the only employee.
“It’s hard some days because I get really tired, but it’s not bad because I enjoy what I do,” she said.