Athens is home to a lengthy list of restaurants and eateries, some of which have become staples within the community. Whether it’s Union Street Diner’s breakfast, Donkey Coffee’s steamed brew or Broney’s wings, it’s hard not to indulge in these local delicacies.
Despite the popularity of those local food hubs, Ohio University graduate Stephen Adams believed there was something missing. For many, Court Street serves as the destination for morning coffee runs, leisurely lunches and late-night cravings. But Adams realized there weren’t restaurants offering healthier food options. He decided to open one of his own: Odyssey Nutrition, a nutritional shake shop.
Adams, who served as the president of the fitness organization Fitness Odyssey, admits he’s obsessed with fitness. It’s his lifestyle; it always has been. Following his fragmented football career at OU, Adams decided to turn his appreciation for health and nutrition into a career.
He started Fitness Odyssey, which held various workout programs on campus. In 2014, Adams became a representative for marketing corporation Herbalife, which distributes nutritional supplements and personal care products.
As a Herbalife representative, Adams encourages people to use the company’s products and works with customers as their health coach. He prefers to remain active on campus, as he says it’s where he’s made most of his connections.
Through Herbalife, Adams has had the opportunity to attend conventions around the country. There, he’s met hundreds of people whose lifestyles reflect his own.
The people he met not only became his closest friends but also contributors to his shake shop. Adams says his mission isn’t only to build his company but also to instill a healthier community in Athens.
“It’s an opportunity for growth,” Adams says. “Not just for me but my team. We felt this is the next step for making a larger community impact.”
The shop has left an impact on students on campus since its opening. Gabby Morgan and Mike Curry, both leaders of Fitness Odyssey and contributors to the shop, expressed the shop’s importance and the positive reception they have received since the shop’s establishment.
“They’re [students] saying they’ve been wanting a healthy place like this for so long because Athens doesn’t have a lot of healthy options,” Morgan says.
For them, too, fitness is their lifestyle; it always has been. Even more so, Morgan and Curry’s love for health and nutrition has translated into a love for one another. They’re a family. And the shop’s opening, in a way, is them welcoming the Athens community to their home – and their kitchen. And though it’s not as comforting as one’s own kitchen, it shares a unique resemblance.
Odyssey Nutrition has a spacious and comforting glow. The checkered floors are freshly waxed, and in the store’s center is a counter with 6 to 8 chairs along its edges. Behind the counter are the products: all Herbalife certified, of course. And the menu, etched in chalk, is covered by over 50 shake options, ranging from orange crème to white chocolate covered strawberry.
But beyond the shop’s products and look, Adams feels its success is attributed to the staff’s passion for the community. He believes Odyssey Nutrition doesn’t just serve as a shake shop, but a place of inspiration through the practices of nutrition.
“Giving students and community members both a place where they can get great nutrition, great taste and a positive environment,” Adams says. “There is nowhere else around that provides all three like this