Every morning as I drove to take my daughter to school, I would pass a red and white building on the corner of Eastern Parkway and Third Street called Cardinal Nutrition. As someone who loves nothing more than a local business, I did what just about any millennial would do, I searched for the business on Instagram and began following them. Everyday I would view their stories, and I would witness the pure energy and excitement of the owner, Nicomis Miner, as he served patrons with a variety of smoothies. His customers, or members, as he would later inform me, always seemed upbeat and happy while they enjoyed their drinks as music played overhead. One day I reached out to Nicomis, and he agreed to sit with me and tell me more about this newly found gem right in South Louisville.
After I arrived, I was given the shop’s unique 3-step process: a mango aloe shooter, which helps aid the digestive system, the peach herbal tea, and the option of a shake of my choice. I went with the White Chocolate Reeses, which held true to its name. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. With each product I was given, I was told exactly what it was, and how it would help my body. As I enjoyed my shake, Nicomis shared with me the story of Cardinal Nutrition.
So how did the idea for Cardinal Nutrition come about?
Nicomis: Cardinal Nutrition came about from a guy named E.J. Fields, in Frankfort. We were just talking one day, because I’m in the military, and he was like, “Hey man, I think I got something that you would love. You’re always pushing health and wellness and I have something I think you should try.”
He had me come out to his shop and I had the White Chocolate Reeses [Shake], so after I had that, I was like, “You know what man, this right here is the new wave. This is it, this is revolutionary.” I was like, “I’m in.”
When did Cardinal Nutrition open its doors?
Nicomis: Actually last year, April 21st.
Are you from Louisville?
Nicomis: No, I’m actually from Detroit. I went to school at Kentucky State. I came to Louisville last year, right before I opened. I moved here because of the people that I met while at Kentucky State. I just found a sense of home, and I ended up just staying.
What made you decide to open in South Louisville?
Nicomis: So when I came out here, I realized that they didn’t have any healthy options around here. And in going to college, you know that the students are not taking care of themselves. So when I came out here, I was thinking, these parents send their kids here from all over the world in hopes that their kids are going to be taken care of and instead they’re stuffing caffeine down their throats. So I was like, what better area than to put Cardinal Nutrition right next to a university where the students can benefit from it?
Do you feel like you’ve been welcomed by the students here?
Nicomis: For sure. They love it!
How’d you get the word out about Cardinal Nutrition after opening?
Nicomis: I hit the streets. Me and EJ went out and just passed out flyers. I’m kind of old-fashioned with it. I like to put a flyer in the person’s hand, so if they ask I can tell them. When it comes to Cardinal Nutrition, I know all my products. Nobody can tell me anything about my products that I don’t know. So when I put a flyer in a person’s hand and they ask, “Oh, what is this?”, I can say, “This is xyz and we do xyz.” Unlike most places where they just hire somebody and they just sell it because they’re told to.
What makes Cardinal Nutrition unique?
Nicomis: Cardinal Nutrition is a nutrition club, it’s not a smoothie shop. It’s a private nutrition club where we say, “Welcome to the club.” You’re a member of Cardinal Nutrition, not a customer. So we end up learning our members names, we go to our members events, we support each other. And we always say “Thanks for shaking it up!” because we appreciate everybody coming out and fellowshipping with us. It’s a fun environment. People come and let loose and if they had a hard day, and hopefully they have a better day after leaving here.
Being a business owner comes with a lot of challenges. What keeps you motivated everyday?
Nicomis: The people that I help. We’ve changed lives here. Louisville was one of the most obese cities in KY, and when I get people that come in heavyset, or overweight, or out of shape and they want to change, the reactions that I get daily is what helps me keep going. So if you come here in the morning, I’m the same way after my 12 hour shift. I’m the same at 7pm as I am at 7am.
Give us a rundown on the basics of the products you serve.
Nicomis: So we do, of course, the Formula One Meal Replacement which is the meal replacement shake that has your vitamins and minerals: A vitamins, B vitamins, D vitamins, Biotin, etc. We have Cell Activator that helps reduce water weight, we have Relax Now, which, when you’re stressing, it’s a tablet you can take to combat stress.
We have probiotics which helps give you a smooth digestive tract. We also have New Mom which is for new mothers who need help replenishing the vitamins and minerals they have shared with the baby. In addition to that we have skincare, hair care, a collagen beauty booster which helps with healthy hair, skin, and nails. We have the CR7 drive which is like our form of gatorade. Our pre workout has less milligrams of caffeine in it so you don’t have that jittery feeling. We have our tea bombs. Tea bombs are amazing. They are essentially like a 5 Hour Energy, just a healthier version from green tea extract and orange pekoe and that helps you with mental alertness. So I like to push that to the college students, especially around finals time.
What are the most popular drinks?
Nicomis: The number one would be the Snap Back. The only reason I came up with the name Snap Back is because people were coming back the next day. Like right back! And I was like wow this is crazy, and it took off. The Lemon Pound Cake, the Tyrone Banana Pudding, that’s just to name a few.
Do the people that come here have a regimen or plan they follow to get results?
Nicomis: Yes, what we typically offer is dependent upon whether they’re trying to lose weight, maintain weight or gain weight. Two shakes a day and a colorful meal for dinner.
A lot of people tend to have diet restrictions due to their allergies, health, or some may live a vegan lifestyle. Do you have options for them?
Nicomis: Yes, so the good thing is that vegans can take all of our products. For people who are allergic to soy we have a P-Plant based protein which a lot of people are really into right now.
What do you love most about your members?
Nicomis: The stories. The fact that they trust us to keep their information confidential. The fact that they love to keep us updated on school, work, and family relations. People come by and ask me, “Hey, what do you need?” to help me succeed at what I’m doing.
Where do you see Cardinal Nutrition in the next 5 years?
Nicomis: A couple more locations and more members spreading the word about how we’ve helped them get healthier and helped them on their journey. I just got a text yesterday from someone saying, “Hey, I lost 5 more pounds!”
That’s got to be a good feeling.
Nicomis: So you see, we communicate with our members .
Do you plan on staying in Louisville?
Nicomis: Oh yeah. I ain’t going nowhere. I’m here, this is it.
Do you have any advice for anyone out there that wants to begin the journey of a healthy lifestyle but they don’t know where to start?
Nicomis: Yep. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to ask. See, most people are nervous to ask. Or they’re embarrassed to ask, but there’s people out there willing to help. Nobody’s judging. Like, I was skinny at one point, I got a little bit bigger, you know?Just don’t be afraid to ask for help or just to reach out. Because whether you want to lose weight, gain weight, whatever, there’s somebody that’s willing to help you at all times.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Nicomis: Thanks for shaking it up with us!