WAV Nutrition starts off new year in new location

WAV+Nutrition%E2%80%99s+new+space+offers+a+side+room+where+WAV+offers+yoga+classes+and+boxing+through+a+part-+nership+with+another+local+business%2C+Longevity+Boxing+Club.

Carolyn Hauschild

WAV Nutrition’s new space offers a side room where WAV offers yoga classes and boxing through a partnership with another local business, Longevity Boxing Club.

Syerah Mulhern-Allred, sports editor

On Dec. 4, 2021, popular Winona shake and tea bar, WAV Nutrition, relocated from its original location near Ambition Salon to a newer, brighter spot on Huff Street, just across from Winona State University’s main campus.

The owner of WAV, Jordan Gathje, said the relocation opens many new opportunities for the company to give back to the Winona community.

“Visibility and space [were the main reasons behind relocating]. We were really looking to do indoor workouts and the old space didn’t really allow us to do that,” Gathje said. “Also, to just be more visible and have better parking. There’s just been a lot of positives to relocating.”

The new space offers a side room where WAV offers yoga classes and boxing through a partnership with another local business, Longevity Boxing Club, which is usually based out of Iron Bluff Fitness.

WAV Nutrition is one of three Herbalife-partnered beverage shops in town, in addition to Unlimited Nutrition and the newly opened Lost Oasis. WAV was the first of the three to call Winona home after opening in 2017, followed by Unlimited in 2019 and Lost Oasis only this past year in August.

While many may view having three similar businesses in the same town as competition, Gathje explained how in his eyes, it’s all about convenience and nutrition for all, not bad blood or competition.

“If you’re downtown go check [Unlimited] out; if you’re on the East Side go check [Lost Oasis] out.” Gathje said. “We’re all about whatever’s most convenient. We’re all just offering healthy, nutritious items and when you can get it convenient and super quick, that’s how we make the biggest impact.”

On top of that, the owner of Lost Oasis, Richard Kramer, used to work with Gathje at WAV before branching off to start the family-owned branch on the East Side of Winona on Mankato Ave.

WAV Nutrition, like many other small businesses, is largely community based but luckily has not struggled too much through COVID-19, according to Gathje.

“There were challenges with [COVID],” Gathje said. “But it’s just like with any small business; you have to pivot and you have to always be willing to make the changes to allow transition.”

The WAV team proved just how versatile they can be when, in March 2020, all Winona State students were sent home due to the pandemic. With COVID still very much prevalent, having a larger space makes customers more comfortable walking into the business as well.

The students truly create Gathje’s drive for success, he said, following his own struggles with nutrition during his time in college. A focus on nutrition can be lost as students make the adjustment from living at home to dorm and campus life.

“When I first started going to college, I gained 20 pounds,” Gathje shared. “I just didn’t know about proper nutrition, I didn’t have accountability, I didn’t really know how to fuel myself properly. But when I started using the products and I started getting involved in the community, it helped me reach my health results.”

Gathje’s own story is what drove him to help others learn about proper nutrition and fueling them- selves effectively. Since then, he has made a business out of improving the local community through products he believes in and mentoring others –like Kramer of Lost Oasis– into starting their own health mission as well.

“Jordan and others have done such a good job making the space feel warm and welcoming,” WAV employee and Winona State student Alysa Steinkopf said. “It’s much bigger and brighter, making it the perfect place to just chill or do some homework.”

WAV Nutrition is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, as well as 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday at its new location, 619 Huff Street.