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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Kaden QuinnCalifornia Nutrition owner April Reed, right, is pictured here with daughter Brehn, center, and husband Lindell, left, as they celebrate their grand opening.

Business owner April Reed has brought her new California Nutrition business to the area to offer low-calorie high-protein shakes and teas to health-savvy customers.

Reed said she hopes to bring a diverse batch of nutritional options to her friends, family and clientele in California after opening the business Tuesday.

Reed said nutrition has always been a very important part of her life, stemming all the way back to her family experiences in her youth. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer when she was 14, her family turned to a natural doctor who introduced them to naturopathic medicine.

"While the cancer wasn't life threatening, instead of going for radiation or chemo, we were friends with a natural doctor who introduced us to a whole world of naturopathic medicine," Reed said. "By changing her diet, eating organically and using herbs, they cured her cancer, basically killing it. From that point on, I was a believer."

After marrying her husband in 2012, Reed spent much of her time in California as she and her family would commute to their jobs in Jefferson City, eventually moving there around late 2019. Reed said they saw the opportunity to move back to the area when her friends, running a nutrition business of their own, mentioned to her that many of their customers were commuters from California to Jefferson City as well.

"I have been away from California for almost two years now, living in Jefferson City," Reed said. "I have a lot of friends here and a lot of people that I know, so it's nice to be able to come back and give something back to the community as well as a healthier option."

With her business up and running, Reed said she is most excited to work alongside her daughter, Brehn Skinner. With her daughter having just graduated high school, Reed said she wanted to provide her with a job that she would enjoy and look forward to working at.

"I wanted to give her an opportunity to do something unconventional besides just working at any old job," Reed said. "Having something that is unique and gives her the opportunity to serve nutritional food to people by learning more about it, maybe someday she will take it over. One of my goals was to do something for her because she's been training in Jefferson City for a couple months now. You've got to put in the training to know the product and know how to make the stuff, and she likes it quite a lot."

According to Reed, California Nutrition will be serving low-sugar, low-calorie, high protein meal replacement shakes, as well loaded teas, to patrons. She said these drinks give customers the nutrition of a single meal or a natural caffeine boost. However, those are not the only options she has on the menu.

"We also have specialty teas that have some protein and collagen in them," Reed said. "They're kind of a snack, so they curb your appetite but they give you that good energy. We also have kids drinks that have no caffeine in them as well as boost drinks that don't have caffeine, but they have a natural energy component in them to boost your energy."

Reed said she also wanted customers to know that they have options available for people with allergies or certain preferences, including both sugar-free and vegan shakes.

Reed said California Nutrition wants everyone to feel welcomed and taken care of when ordering.

"We're happy to be here and happy to serve the community more nutritional treats, as well as help them with their health goals," Reed said. "We're not trying to compete with anybody in town. We love this community and it just kind of brought us back. We didn't think we would be back in California for a while, but we just love the people here and feel like we can help them with any of their health needs."

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