By Douglas M. Campbell
Between Republic Pizzeria and DNA Studios sits a vacant property with a lone lock on the door and a few signs in the window. One reads, in bold print, “University Nutrition Coming Soon.”
Marshaun Hainesworth, manager of University Nutrition, operates a similar nutrition club, 330 Nutrition, which opened one year ago at 1120 Elm Road in Warren.
“I started the business with 330 Nutrition,” he said. “I was involved with Herbalife, and I opened up a store in my hometown of Warren.”
Herbalife, a multi-level marketing company, sells dietary supplements including a variety of food, drink and skincare products.
“The opportunity presented itself where I could operate on campus and serve everyone healthy, nutritious drinks,” Hainesworth said.
University Nutrition advertises their products on social media by posting colorful images of shakes and teas.
“Social media is the biggest thing right now with younger people, and older people have been getting hooked on Facebook,” Hainesworth said. “I used Instagram to promote towards the younger crowd and Facebook to gravitate towards the older crowd.”
University Nutrition will feature vegetarian and gluten-free options, healthy shakes, energizing teas, protein coffee and “good vibes.”
Hainesworth said the shakes are only 300 calories, while the teas have five or fewer calories and contain no sugar. Coffees have 80-100 calories with only two grams of sugar.
“We have 70 different shakes and an abundance of teas. Some of our bestselling flavors are blueberry cheesecake, peanut butter Oreo and red velvet,” Hainesworth said.
Hainesworth will release several new shake flavors when the location opens, including brown sugar Pop Tart and banana split. New specialty tea flavors include sour gummy worm, “Bikini Bottom” and “Rain Forest.”
Students expressed mixed reactions to the new store. Devan Jordan, a sophomore dietetics major, is curious about the experience.
“I love the fact that a nutrition club is being built on campus. I have never been to any nutrition clubs or tried any of their drinks,” Jordan said.
Abigail Crow, a high school junior and College Credit Plus student at YSU, said she went to a similar nutrition club in Poland and tried the “Bikini Bottom” flavor.
“I saw their drinks on Instagram and was like, ‘There’s no way that is healthy.’ I got the tea and I could literally taste the vitamins. Overall it was pretty good,” Crow said.
Samantha Davis, a senior marketing management major, wasn’t a fan of the new business on campus.
“I’m not glad that University Nutrition is at YSU. I believe this is a way for Herbalife distributors to recruit college students to the pyramid scheme,” Davis said. “People in multi-level marketing tend to target vulnerable people who need quick cash.”
University Nutrition has yet to announce an official opening date.
“We are aiming towards the first week of October and are looking at a soft opening sometime next month,” Hainesworth said.