Jessica Wheeler, a San Diego native, grew up playing sports before being recruited to play field hockey for Michigan State University.
After graduating, she moved to Las Vegas with her college sweetheart, Gray Maynard. During the pandemic, the husband-and-wife duo moved back to be closer to their family in Michigan. With them, they brought their goal of opening a business to help people.
The result of that dream is Blend, a 500-square-foot location that shares space with her husband’s business, Primed Combat. The inviting spot is bright, open and adorned with locally crafted bar tables. Wheeler, 42, said the drink bar’s mission is to create and prepare healthy, nutrient-dense whole foods that taste delicious.
“Gray wanted to open a combat gym for the same purpose — to provide education and awareness of movement and the impacts for overall health and wellness,” Wheeler recalled. “We happened to find a space with a gym and a drink bar already built out. It was divine timing to make it all come together.”
Wheeler, a former clinical nutritionist, said she understands the frustration often associated with nutrition, but she enjoys helping folks find their paths.
“Nutrition can mean a million different things, depending on the person,” she said. “But I think we can agree that nutrition should be one of our top priorities. It can be as simple as being aware of how certain foods and drinks make you feel.”
The drink menu at Blend uses clean, beneficial ingredients. In addition to its roster of superfood bowls, smoothies, coffee, steamers and sparkling beverages, the shop carries supplements and wellness products.
“Our freshly blended smoothies and acai bowls packed with whole ingredients are the real superfoods,” Wheeler said. “The quality supplements we sell are just an added bonus.”
For the caffeine crowd, Blend pours coffee and espresso drinks using beans from a sustainable and responsible company.
“My organic drip coffee is consciously roasted for better absorption and is heavily tested for pesticides and mycotoxins,” she said. “We also offer superfood steamers, which are organic blends of different plants, herbs, mushrooms and teas steamed with milk of your choice with a bit of honey to sweeten.
“Sounds wild, but the reishi cacao steamer is delicious,” Wheeler added.
And the wild names don’t stop there, like the adaptogen-infused sparklers that use lemon juice, ginger juice and a sparkling adaptogen tonic infused with magnesium, lemon balm, American ginseng and more.
Already, there’s a customer favorite, the Blue Majik Bowl — a coconut base acai bowl with mango, pineapple and blue spirulina. It’s topped with granola, strawberries, banana and honey.
Wheeler said one of the unique things about the business is one thing you won’t find in their items. “I can say in confidence that there is nothing on our shelves that we don’t trust to have the cleanest list of ingredients,” she said. “No sketchy chemicals, no copious amounts of refined sugar. There’s nothing we don’t feel confident about putting into our bodies.”
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