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Uptown Nutrition shakes up local health scene

Sun Yuvachitti
From left: Owner of Uptown Nutrition Darian Morrison and employee Jillian Miller behind the front counter of the shake and tea bar.

Uptown Nutrition, a shake and energy tea bar on 819 Commercial St. in downtown Grinnell, had its grand opening this past Thursday, Sept. 14. For owner Darian Morrison, Grinnell is Uptown Nutrition’s second location — the first is in the nearby town of Newton. The popular shakes and teas at the Newton location influenced the menu offerings in Grinnell.  

 “I added some of Newton’s top favorites. It is kind of like a copy menu but better,” Morrison said. 

These top favorites include shakes such as salted caramel Oreo and monster cookie. 

Both of these shakes are in the “Fat Reduction” category, per the menu, and include 24 grams of protein and 200 calories each. The shakes are also referred to as “low sugar.”

The specific ingredients are products from Herbalife, a multi-level marketing business, which Morrison said is the number one nutrition company in the world. Despite the decadent names, Morrison said the shakes and teas have health benefits for the consumer.  

 “We use ice, water and protein powder that replaces your meal. That’s what makes them so healthy,” Morrison said.  

 “The shake replaces your meal and gives you all your essential vitamins and minerals. The tea will stimulate your metabolism and give you energy. Together they work best for a nutrition plan.” 

Morrison said the combination of tea and shake acts as a full meal replacement, supporting a low-sugar meal with “21 essential vitamins and minerals.”  

 Based on dozens of customers from Grinnell frequenting the Newton location and seeking nutrition products, Morrison identified a “hot market.” 

 “Grinnell doesn’t have something like this … It was wanted,” she said.  

  The nutrition-focused demographic of Grinnell College students made the location further appealing to Morrison. 

She said that Uptown Nutrition has “a product for everyone, whether it’s in our teas or our shakes.” 

Grinnell doesn’t have something like this … It was wanted.

— Darian Morrison

Accommodating this, Morrison said that Uptown Nutrition has a vegan line of beverages coming out by the end of the year. The specific vegan menu additions are still in the works.   

  At 20 years old, Morrison said that there has been a “learning curve” in having two locations. She said that growing up with social media has helped her market Uptown Nutrition in the absence of a marketing degree.  

 As a nutrition coach, Morrison said that she promotes her products with the hopes of lowering the national obesity rates. 

Morrison said that Uptown Nutrition’s shakes supplement the “bad foods” that increase these rates at a price point of around seven dollars, which costs less than an average meal.  

 With Uptown Nutrition’s new Grinnell location, Morrison looks to introduce both healthy meal replacements and a positive environment to the town.  

 “I’m making this somewhere that people feel safe and wanted,” she said. 

Uptown Nutrition is located in downtown Grinnell on Commericial Street. Darian Morrison opened the location up on Thursday, Sept. 14. (Sun Yuvachitti )


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About the Contributors
Addie Persian
Addie Persian, Staff Writer
Addie is a first year from a town smaller than Grinnell (yes, it’s possible) in the middle of Minnesota. She enjoys playing tennis, shopping, eating sour candy, and going to the casino; all of which are definitely not an addiction… She is intending to major in psychology and/or political science and loves to write both scientifically and journalistically.
Sun Yuvachitti, Staff Photographer
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