Quarantine hobbies looked different for a lot of people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some baked sourdough bread.
Others made time to do a puzzle or read a book.
Melonie Hackman started a business.
Hackman, who is originally from Indiana, was living in Atlanta with her boyfriend, Doug, when COVID-19 began spreading throughout the nation.
Instead of staying in the city, the couple packed their bags and moved into their condo on Hilton Head Island for three months. At the end of June, when they returned to their Atlanta high-rise, Hackman was ready to go back to the Lowcountry.
“I felt homesick,” she said. “During that time, my life perspective and our life priorities changed.”
Soon after, the idea for Island Nutrition was conceived.
The smoothie and juice bar opened on William Hilton Parkway last month and has already been warmly received by the locals, Hackman said.
The most popular option at Island Nutrition is the shake and tea combo, which Hackman says complement each other for maximum health benefits.
“Ordering two drinks together is a different idea for some people,” Hackman laughed. “But it’s like when you go into any other restaurant and order a meal and a drink. The shake has the nutrition of the meal while the tea is your drink.”
Shakes come in a range of flavors, including cinnamon toast crush, birthday cake, Oreo, and seasonal flavors. Each shake has 21 vitamins and minerals and 24 grams of protein for about 250 calories, Hackman said. They also contain less sugar than a banana.
The teas are made to boost metabolism, burn calories, and aid in digestive health, and the rotating “mega tea” special includes the “beauty booster” collage and “liftoff” energy add-ins.
If tea isn’t your thing, the store also offers two coffee options.
“People might think we may be a little crazy” to move to a new place and open a business during a pandemic, Hackman said. “But we saw it as an opportunity where people might be a little more health conscious, and this is an easy way to act on that.”
Hilton Head is full of people who are so health-oriented, she said. “You can’t help but be motivated and inspired to be healthier when you live here.”
Hackman said she hopes Island Nutrition becomes a regular stop for locals looking to maintain a healthy diet. The business also has a loyalty program that awards free combos after a certain number of purchases.
“The proudest, best feeling is helping people become healthier versions of themselves,” Hackman said.