BATAVIA — Marc and Lauren Cordes have begun making their mark in the “healthy hangout” market in Batavia with a new storefront, Batavia Total Nutrition. Their business may be found at 4152 W. Main St., in Valu Home Plaza.
Being involved in the nutrition food and drink business came from something that happened to his wife, Lauren, Marc Cordes said.
“Several years ago, she had surgery. After the surgery, she couldn’t eat anything but protein shakes for awhile,” Cordes said. “If you ever had any of those, they don’t taste very good. We got talking with some people and they said, ‘Hey, why don’t you go and try this?’ and we had to go to Amherst to do it. We stopped there and tried them, and they tasted good. She carried on with it and we got to talking.”
Marc Cordes said he and Lauren thought, why not bring the healthy hangout idea to Batavia and see how it goes?
“We’ve been doing this now for about a year,” he said. “We tested the waters before we wanted to get a storefront just to see how people in the community would accept it, so we’ve been doing it about a year — just over a year now — and we figured, ‘Now’s the time to try to do it on a storefront.’”
Lauren Cordes said, “I had some medical conditions that I had to overcome. It took me down the path of doing weight loss.”
She said she eventually found different protein drinks than the ones she was originally having.
She said she started posting pictures of the shakes she was drinking on her own Facebook page and people started asking her about them.
“We were sharing information. People started asking me about it,” she said. This led her and Marc to open Batavia Total Nutrition, Lauren Cordes said.
Right now, Batavia Total Nutrition just does pickup, Marc Cordes said. The business is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
Eventually, there will be some delivery, Marc Cordes said.
“We will tailor a meal program for you. Not just our shakes, but supplementing our meals with shakes and then teaching people how to eat a healthy diet in general,” he said.
Batavia Total Nutrition encourages people to order ahead by texting (585) 432-5545.
Marc and Lauren Cordes have three kids, ages 14, 12 and 9. It’s been hectic, between the business and running all three kids around for sports.
“Don’t let the stigma of nutrition keep you from coming in here. Come and try it,” Marc Cordes said. f“In the beginning, when we first started this, I was a little leery about it, too. The products we’re putting out taste good. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be bad.”
Marc Cordes credited Brandon Britton, owner of “healthy hangout” businesses, one in East Amherst and one in Niagara Falls, with getting Batavia Total Nutrition started on its menu.
“They’ve had some success with certain things they’ve come up with over the years and we got the menu from him,” Marc Cordes said. “He’s here for the grand opening today. He taught us the ropes of this.”
Marc Cordes said he and Lauren are running the business with their oldest helping out.
As to the most popular menu item, Cordes said, “It’s probably too early to tell right now. I like them all, so I’m kind of biased.”
Genesee County Chamber of Commerce Interim President Tom Turnbull said this is a niche market.
“I think it’s something that can be successful in the area,” Turnbull said. “Being the Visitors Center and the tourism promotion agency, we get people coming into our office all the time. They’re always looking for a place to eat. Here’s another choice if they want nutritional eating and it’s not that far from our office. I think Valu Plaza is a good location. It’s high-traffic, good parking and I think they’re all set up to have good success here. I tasted the product and it’s really good.”
Turnbull said he tried an item called Peach Mango and the other was Fruity Pebbles, which was more of a milkshake.