LUVERNE — Brooke Sorensen opened her first business, Embrace Nutrition, two months into a global pandemic.
Now, a year later, her Pipestone business has done so well that she’s gearing up to open a second location in downtown Luverne.
A June 1 opening is planned for Cardinal Fuel, a healthy shake shop, at 220 E. Main St. It’s the former location of Redeemed Remnants.
“The location is pretty great — we’re excited,” said Sorensen, who has hired Melissa Schuur to be the primary coach for the Luverne shop, with more coaches to be hired soon.
The business will offer single-serve shakes, energy teas and protein drinks in a happy and healthy environment, said Sorensen, who graduated in 2019 with a degree in sociology from Southwest Minnesota State University. It was while in college that she was introduced to Herbalife products at a nutrition club in Marshall.
“I found it after my freshman year of college and I used the products on my own,” Sorensen said, noting she lost 40 pounds by consuming the protein-filled options. Ultimately, she began working for the shop and gaining experience.
“I loved my classes (in sociology), but my passion was doing what I did — helping people find results at home and find a happy place,” she shared.
On May 5, 2020, Sorensen opened her first shake shop in Pipestone and, despite having to offer curbside service for customers, the business quickly grew above and beyond what she had ever anticipated.
“The support we received from the community is absolutely incredible,” she said, adding that eight Herbalife wellness coaches now work from the Pipestone shop.
With a number of customers over the past year making the 30-minute trek from Luverne to Pipestone to purchase products, she decided to expand her business in the Rock County community.
Sorensen doesn’t plan to stop there. If the popularity of the products and the relaxed atmosphere of the shops continue, so too will her business.
Schuur has worked alongside Sorensen at the Pipestone location for a while now, and is ready to take the lead with the Luverne location. The shop will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., offering protein-packed drinks for breakfast and lunch.
While there are no food options on the menu, Sorensen said the wellness coaches provide resources such as nutrition plans and recipes to help clients eat well.
“We have a lot of people who just come in to get shakes and teas because they like it,” she said, adding that clients are matched with wellness coaches to help them on their journey to a healthy lifestyle.
A user of the products for four years now, Sorensen said they are delicious, which is why the nutrition clubs are fun.
“The products are perfect for a fast-paced lifestyle,” she added. “Our program is easy to follow and fairly flexible, so that has been really helpful as well.”
At the Pipestone location, Sorensen said they are in the fourth week of a weight loss challenge. The 13 participants have already lost a combined 75-plus pounds.
“What we’re trying to bring to the community … is a healthy hangout — to provide a place where people can come and hang out in a happy and healthy environment,” she said.