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Want some peach/cherry Feel Good Juice, packed with protein and collagen? How about a Strawberry Fusion Mega Tea, a Chocolate Brownie Batter nutrition shake, or iced coffee? The Nook Shake and Energy Bar in downtown Lake City serves up a huge variety of energy-boosting beverages each weekday for customers of all ages and tastes.

“Lake City has been great to us,” said Jenna Olberding of Carroll, who owns The Nook with her husband, Andy. “We also deliver beverages to surrounding towns.”

The Nook specializes in protein-based shakes that are similar to meal-replacement shakes. “We use soy protein and can also add whey protein for muscle-building,” Olberding said.

Along with standard flavors like vanilla, chocolate peanut butter, orange cream and other fruity options, top sellers include Sea Salt Toffee, Cake Batter and Chocolate Brownie Batter. “We also offer monthly specials and limited-time offers,” said Olberding, who noted that each 24-ounce shake contains 200 to 250 calories.

Many customers enjoy The Nook’s Mega Teas. Available in 32-ounce and 42-ounce cups, these teas are sweetened with stevia, a natural, zero-calorie sweetener that comes from the leaves of the stevia plant, which is native to South America. “Our teas also contain aloe, which is sooths the digestive tract,” Olberding said.

Various boosters, from protein to collagen, can be added to the Mega Teas, which contain 160 to 180 milligrams of caffeine. “Even if you don’t like tea, try these, because they don’t taste like tea,” Olberding said.

The Nook also caters to kids. The 16-ounce Kids’ Blast beverages are available in an assortment of flavors, from Purple Punch to Rockin Strawberry. “These hydration drinks are like healthy Gatorade without caffeine,” said Olberding, a mom of three children.

Strong demand leads to growth

While The Nook opened at 109 South Center Street in early January 2024, the Olberdings had already established a strong connection to Lake City. For the past few years, they’ve offered an online ordering app and were delivering beverages weekly to customers in Lake City, from Stewart Memorial Community Hospital to South Central Calhoun (SCC) High School.

“We also gave away beverage samples at the farmers market in Lake City,” said Olberding, who owns Crossroads-Carroll (similar to The Nook) in downtown Carroll and makes deliveries to communities around Carroll.  

Demand was so strong and consistent in Lake City that the Olberdings decided to open a store half a block south of the downtown Main Street business district. They called their new business The Nook, because it occupied a tiny space in the front of the building.

Since then, The Nook has expanded into more of the shop, which includes seating areas for guests. “We plan to add more furniture so students and other customers can hang out here,” said Olberding, who team includes six to seven part-time employees, many of whom are high school students.

While The Nook is independently owned, Olberding uses products from Herbalife, whose nutrition clubs focus on health, nutrition and fitness, while creating an enjoyable, social experience. “I like meeting all the people who come to The Nook,” she said.

To add to the fun, The Nook offers a free Tea Bomb Drop. Customers who stop by the shop can nominate a local business. If that business’s name is drawn, The Nook will schedule a time to deliver the Tea Bombs (available in 11 fun flavors, from Tropical Fruit Punch to Watermelon Shandy).

The Nook in Lake City is open Monday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and Wednesday and Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. “We also sometimes have pop-up hours on Saturdays and Sundays, so check our Facebook page for details,” Olberding said.

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