A new small Community-owned business that took the risk of opening during a worldwide pandemic has been thriving as they try to keep their customers healthy through a variety of nutritious drinks. Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members Kevin Dalton, Veronica Ramirez and Ashley Fritz started Good Life Nutrition at the end of May and received a ton of business in their first month as a new small business.
The Good Life Nutrition team has been creating a number of healthy and nutritious drinks, including energy drinks, shakes, teas, coffees and refreshers. They have delivery services around the Community, Lehi and surrounding areas and operate a drive-through service out of Lehi.
Ramirez has been a Herbalife distributor for the last five years, and Dalton and Fritz have been distributors for the last two years. The three of them decided to start their own business to provide nutritious drinks to their fellow Community members using Herbalife products.
“We tried to bring Herbalife out to the people of the Community before by talking to people about it, but no one seemed interested,” said Ramirez.
“It was kind of tough for us at first,” explained Dalton. “I think it was a little bit of a stigma with Herbalife as a brand. I think people thought of it as a pyramid scheme, so it didn’t work out for us that way.”
They were referred to Tribe Nutrition in Phoenix, where they volunteered for a month and learned how to create the different drinks, learned about starting and running a business, and learned how they can promote health and wellness to others.
“Learning from them and applying it over to the Community is good,” said Dalton. They created drinks and made them look appetizing for everyone. “It’s something so simple to make, [yet] it looks so beautiful. That’s what helped us get the idea that we could do this now, we can bring something that looks fun and delicious to people but also give them the good nutrition they need to keep them healthy.”
Since starting Good Life Nutrition they have been getting a lot of positive feedback—especially from their customers who have diabetes, who have noticed that their glucose levels don’t significantly increase after consuming these drinks, as they would if they purchased a drink from coffee shops such as Starbucks or Dutch Bros.
“Everyone thinks Herbalife is a weight-loss company, but the philosophy of Herbalife is cellular nutrition. Our goal is to give you the proper nutrition from the cell level. … [W]e have stuff to help your cell membranes break down and absorb good nutrients and get rid of the bad ones, and we have stuff to help your hair and nails,” said Ramirez. “What’s good is that a lot of Community members have been reaching out to us to start nutrition programs, because we use just Herbalife products with sugar-free sweeteners here and there. It’s all plant-based stuff; everything is heathy and good for you [and made with] the highest quality-control measures and everything.”
Working with Tribe Nutrition, the Good Life Nutrition team learned everything from what type of cups to use for their drinks to what type of ice to use to create a good product.
“It’s a lot that goes into making the smoothies and everything like that, not just the Herbalife products but the things behind the scenes, such as the cups and the lids. We had to figure out what type of lid to use, because the ones we originally used were a little big, and figuring that out was a learning curve,” said Dalton.
Opening right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Good Life Nutrition team had to take all the extra safety precautions. They were taught by Tribe Nutrition and their mentor to clean every two hours and always wear masks and gloves when preparing and serving their products. They also have a sign out front for pickup orders; the customer calls the number on the sign and one of the team members comes out with their order.
“When we come in from outside, after dealing with customers, we wash our hands and switch out our gloves,” said Dalton. “We do a lot of training on food preparation and getting our state food handler’s card. That was one of the big things we have done.”
Herbalife emphasizes ongoing training, explained Ramirez. Good Life Nutrition has two trainings every week. Their coach stresses cleanliness and making sure their workspace is clean. It’s important for customers to see that the workspace is clean so they will feel comfortable and safe. The Herbalife company keeps them updated by sharing videos, tips and updates on laws and codes to follow.
Good Life Nutrition also has fun with their customers by showing them their appreciation through fun promotions and giveaways. On Thursday, June 25, a customer appreciation event was held and stickers with the Good Life Nutrition logo were given away.
“The most recent [promotion] we have is the Pic of the Week. The customer takes a really nice picture of the product, and they tag us on social media. That gets them entered to win a smoothie, energy drink, refresher or coffee,” said Dalton. They had to spin a wheel and pick a winner. “We had 23 people in that drawing, which is really good because it shows that people are enjoying the drinks and sharing it. It’s our way to give back for people showing love and support.”
They are working on another promotion geared toward health care workers and first responders in the near future that will give them an opportunity to purchase a combo for $10.
Good Life Nutrition hopes to open a storefront by the end of 2020 and to teach Community members and those interested about health and wellness.
“Right now, with how fast our business is growing, we need to get into a shop ASAP, for sure by the end of the year,” said Dalton. “The growth is mind-blowing to us. We never thought it would take off like this, and everyone showing that support for us pushes us more to get a spot faster. That would be the ultimate goal, to have a place where our Community can come and enjoy themselves and have fun.”
Ramirez’s ultimate goal is to teach people from the Community and other tribal communities how to start their own businesses.
“My goal when I first started with Herbalife was to get this to Indian Country on different reservations, because that would be really cool,” said Ramirez. “Just the support you get from Indian communities, starting something in your own community, you’re going to get all the support. It’s crazy, I didn’t expect it. I thought it was going to take longer.”
As Good Life Nutrition continues to thrive, the team thanks all their customers and future customers for their support.
“Thank you, everyone, for your love and support. We never thought it would happen so fast. You guys proved us wrong, and I hope you keep coming and we get people who want to join our team and expand [the business]. That way they can do their own thing. We want people to have the freedom to enjoy their lives,” said Dalton.