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Downtown buzzing over new smoothie shop

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Trai Hilson, owner/partner of Legends Nutrition New Castle, mixes a Dirty Elvis smoothie on a busy afternoon at his new shopat 1408 Broad St.
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Traci, left, and Grace Hyatt look over menus at Legends Nutrition. In the background, Angie Malone and her son, Darryen, sip on smoothies and tea while they wait for the rest of their drink order.

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

Legends Nutrition New Castle just turned on the ‘open’ sign last Monday, but they already have a steady stream of repeat customers.

Owners Trai Hilson and his mother, Michelle Cassella, stayed busy last week mixing nutritional, low-calorie smoothies and explaining to customers exactly what a “tea bomb” is.

“It’s everything that’s inside of an energy drink, without all the sugar and that crash at the end,” Cassella said.

Legends Nutrition makes all its drinks with HerbaLife mixes and is officially a “nutrition club,” Cassella said.

They offer 1-on-1 health and wellness coaching, meal planning and sell HerbaLife products so customers can make their drinks at home, too.

“It’s not just for weight loss,” Cassella said. “Nutrition is for everybody from the womb to the tomb.”

Hilson said the smoothie menu offers more than 100 different shakes and 70 different teas for customers.

Cassella said New Castle customers seem to really enjoy peanut butter flavors so far, from the traditional Buckeye to the “Dirty Elvis,” a mix of peanut butter, banana and chocolate flavors.

Other downtown businesses seem to enjoy having a new smoothie shop within walking distance.

Mary Vorreiter picked up her own Dirty Elvis while on a smoothie and tea run for Primo.

“It’s already a great companionship and I see good things coming from it,” she said.

Vorreiter said her family is also glad to have an option like Legends Nutrition in town.

“It is very much needed in New Castle. We’re so excited,” Vorreiter said.

Traci Hyatt and her daughter, Grace, stopped in Friday to see what all the excitement was about.

“A lot of people have said they really like it,” Grace said.

“We love smoothies and we’ve heard good reviews, so we thought we’d come in and try it,” Traci said.

Angie Malone works on the same block as Legends Nutrition. She was already a repeat customer by Friday afternoon and brought her son, Darryen, in to try the healthy drinks.

“It’s amazing,” Angie said. “The energy bomb tea? Oh yeah! Better than any energy drink.”

Darryen also ordered one of the popular Dirty Elvis smoothies.

“So far, I’m pretty impressed,” he said.

Had to be part of New Castle

Legends Nutrition is Cassella’s second location. She also runs Krazed Energy in Middlebury. Hilson moved to New Castle to run Legends Nutrition full time.

Cassella said she originally came to New Castle looking at a completely different building. She stopped into the Broad Street building, which used to be a bakery and coffee shop, before leaving town.

She said the building was beautiful, but it was the people that sold her on New Castle.

While talking with the real estate agent, Cassella looked out the window and saw Mayor Greg York working on the 1400 Plaza project.

“I looked across the street and I’m looking for a dude in a suit ... he was across the street with a shovel in jeans and a hat,” Cassella said. “I said ‘I’ve got to be a part of this community.’ It’s a amazing. What mayor does that?”

Cassella said that image made her choose New Castle over one of the bigger city options.

“You can see the downtown renovation coming,” Cassella added. “I see what’s happening, and we’re so thrilled to be a part of it.”

For more information, visit Facebook.com/LegendsNutritionNC1 or stop by the shop at 1408 Broad St.

Legends Nutrition is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.