First-time entrepreneur working hard to make South Lyon Nutrition a successful venture
Novi resident is hands-on owner of steadily-growing cafe specializing in shakes, teas and vibe
Working 9 to 5 usually suffices when someone else is signing your paychecks, but not for high-energy entrepreneurs like Lauren Annas, the owner of one-year-old South Lyon Nutrition.
On most days, Annas can be found at her South Lyon health-enhancing business located at 22894 Pontiac Trail from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. – basically sunrise to sunset in the fall – growing her presence in the community with a relentless work ethic.
South Lyon Nutrition’s brand is printed with large white lettering on her cafe’s front window: Shakes. Teas. Vibes.
The shake and teas are cost-efficient and super-healthy. The vibes are free.
“So far, so good,” said Annas, when asked about her first entrepreneurial venture’s first year. “I get new people in every day and I have a growing list of regulars.
“Starting a small business isn’t easy, but the community has been very welcoming to me. I’m at the point now where someone will walk in and I’ll know what they’re going to order. One of the most encouraging signs is I’ll get anywhere from four to eight new customers come in on a given day. Word of mouth is the key to growth.”
A former pre-school teacher from Grosse Pointe, Annas worked at a friend’s nutrition shop in St. Clair Shores before getting the urge to want to go out on her own.
“Cafes like this have been popping up a lot the past few years, especially on the east side,” she said. “When I decided to open my own place, South Lyon was the next town (in the western suburbs) that didn’t have one yet.”
A resident of Novi, Annas initially was assisted by two friends, who have since opened their own nutrition cafe in the Pinckney-Hamburg area. She also has employed South Lyon-area high school and college students on a part-time business.
“But now that they’re back to school, it’s pretty much just me,” she said, smiling. “Working 12-hour days can be exhausting at times, but, hey, if that’s what it takes to be successful and grow, that’s what I’m going to do.”
South Lyon Nutrition’s core products are healthy shakes, teas and coffees – off of which can boost customers’ energy levels without the aid of preservatives or additives.
“We use Herbalife products and most of our items are under around 200 calories,” she said. “Our demographics range from high school and college students to people in their 50s and 60s. I’d say our biggest demographic are working parents, but we get a quite a variety.”
Early on, the steadily-growing cafe’s most-popular product, Annas said, were its protein shakes that can serve as a meal replacement.
”More and more, though, people are catching on to our teas, which are energizing and taste awesome.
“It’s been a great experience so far. One of the highlights is all the friendships I’ve made with my customers. South Lyon is growing a lot and I’m working hard so that my cafe can grow along with it.”
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