The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

December 12, 2012

Business owners see a need in health scene

By Justin Jones, Staff Writer

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 — When Vitality Cafe owners Tom Utermoehl and Shari Langseth began practicing healthy eating habits at home, Langseth said she thought there might be a mutiny coming from the kids.

But since the family has remained committed to eating primarily organic foods, she said they can see a difference in their children’s behavior, actions and reports from school.

They are hoping to bring a similar type of education and commitment to the community through their new business, Vitality Cafe.

Vitality Cafe, which opened in time to participate in Albemarle Downtown Christmas recently, offers the nutritional aspects important to a person’s health, providing smoothies, coffees and tea along with organic snacks and all-natural supplements. But Vitality Cafe wants to be more than a quick stop if a customer is searching for answers regarding their diet and exercise. As a certified trainer and former participant in competitive power lifting, Utermoehl wants to bring his knowledge and passions to the customer.

“Successful business is finding a need, and meeting it,” he said.

“There’s definitely a need, and I don’t think people are offering that sort of information in this venue.”

The information Utermoehl mentioned comes from his history of studying and learning from other mentors in personal training. After running across a similar type of store in North Dakota, where Langseth is from, the two, who are engaged and plan to be married next spring, were confident they could bring something similar to Albemarle.

“We wanted to create a place where people can come during your normal business day and get answers they need to keep going forward in getting themselves in better health,” Utermoehl said.

“I’ve been studying this for 20 years. Health, wellness, nutrition, fitness, all of those. I’ve come up with systems that have already been developed and already work, and basically work for anybody.

“If they come into my club and they sit down with me, they will be able to come up with a program that will be detailed to them that they can take anywhere they want, and be successful with it.”

And while that may sound like Vitality Cafe is handing out services too valuable for free, they are hopeful that those customers will return to get the benefits of the nutrition system straight from the store or club and community atmosphere they are hoping to create.

“Nobody else is offering that sort of coaching on a daily basis,” he said.

“What I promote is a nutrition system from supplements to food that is designed specifically to maintain muscle mass and reduce fat.

“And it’s not a magic pill, it’s not a pharmaceutical. It’s absolutely natural.”

The two each have their own backgrounds in business, Langseth with electrical contracting and Utermoehl in real estate and business development.

“But my passion is health and wellness,” Utermoehl said.

And the same goes for Langseth.

“Increasing awareness for people about how they eat and how it affects their bodies is really important, especially with what I saw as an epidemic of obesity in children,” she said.

“Most people, they just don’t know, they’re not informed.”

It was through reading studies and doing their own research that helped push them to make the changes they made in their own diets and in their children’s diet, because it hasn’t always been healthy foods on the table each night.

“Most of the things (people) are eating is toxic to our body, and not what God intended us to eat.

“My big excitement is bringing that education to people so that they know. Because I was feeding my kids that stuff.”

And whether it be a supplement shake or food, the customer can be confident it’s helping their body.

“They’ll definitely be better off after they drink it than before they did,” he said before mentioning that they’ll also like the way it tastes.

“That’s a big deal. With America, a nutrition system has to taste good,” he said.

“Something super healthy, and super tasty, it’s not going to let them down.”

Vitality Cafe is at 130 E. Main St., Albemarle, across from the Stanly County Public Library parking lot. The store hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and  closed on weekends.

Whether the customer is someone advanced in fitness and healthy living or a newcomer who is filled with questions, Utermoehl said they won’t regret visiting.

“Anybody who comes in here is going to feel better when they leave if they partake in one of our products,” he said.

“It’s going to be very quick. It’s going to be a fast food that will be helpful, delicious and nutritious to their body.”