A new Midland business promises something for the body, mind and soul.
Located on King St. between Dominion Ave. and Bay St., MegaMindful Living features a plant-based smoothie bar called Newfies Soups and Smoothies and an adjacent small, bright dining area. As well, there's a large, open fitness studio where they offer yoga, tai chi and other classes as well as a variety of mindfulness exercises.
“We have a place that features preventative measures,” said Megan Marchildon, who manages the day-to-day operations, pointing out that preventing serious health setbacks like diabetes and heart conditions can often be effectively managed through diet, exercise and mindfulness.
The business is owned by her parents Janice and Kevin Marchildon and overseen by Janice, a nurse practitioner with almost 30 years of experience specialising in oncology, nephrology and caring for patients with many chronic illnesses. She's also a member of the American Academy of Lifestyle Medicine.
While Kevin grew up in the area before moving away for work, Janice is from Cornerbrook, Newfoundand (thus the smoothie bar’s moniker). They lived in Texas for many years before deciding to settle here earlier this year.
Their daughter Megan Marchildon said they wanted to offer something they felt the area was missing by creating a community-orientated wellness center focusing on helping others to improve and maintain health through healthy eating, exercise and psychosocial and mental wellbeing.
“So after working for 30 years in the field, and only doing the post care, with my dad treating people post heart attacks and my mom filtering a lot of people that already have diabetes, they decided okay, we want to open up a place in Midland,” said Marchildon, a three-time, All American heptathlete and certified fitness instructor, who was born in Midland.
“We have a strong passion for mindfulness and thinking about the choices that we make every day and how they impact others and impact the planet.”
Along with on-site exercise classes structured towards individual needs, the centre is also connected with an on-site holistic pharmacist. They're also planning to offer weekly nutrition classes with cooking demonstrations and professional-certified dietary oversight along with hosting various guest speakers who emphasize holistic wellness approaches and focus on natural remedies.
“There's actually a lot of people that want to follow a plant-based diet and really learn more about plant-based dieting,” Marchildon said. “And that’s kind of what we're here for. Our natural pharmacist is also a nutritionist so he can help people to find the ways that they can get their nutrients through plant based foods.”
Besides smoothies with original names like Georgian Shores Moonlight, Hunky Money and Get Your Gtigann On, the business’s food side offers an assortment of vegan pasta salads, wraps, soups and ‘toasties,’ including one with avocado, sauteed mushrooms, onion and plant-based cheese called Me Mudders Favorite.
But what’s it like to open a new business in the middle of a global pandemic?
“Yeah, that’s been pretty rough, especially with the work on King Street,” Marchildon said, referring to the town’s ongoing, major reconstruction project of its main thoroughfare.
“So the road’s all torn up and then we’ve got COVID going on so we had to do some last minute changes and make a smoothie bar because, at first, they were only allowing essential food services. We're hoping once the road opens up, we'll get a bit more traffic.”
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