Shake Care of Yourself: Meet the Man Bringing Healthy Alternatives to Marion County

Meet 27-year-old Blake Springs, a young man from Marion County whose love for nutrition and fitness has led him to opening his own smoothie bar where taste and nutritional value don’t have to be a conflict of interests. 

Blake has lived next to Jasper Middle School for his entire life, and after a small stint at South Pittsburg, he moved to Marion County and graduated as a member of the 2012 graduating class. After high school, Blake attended the University of Kentucky where he graduated with a degree in Biology. Blake wanted to continue his studies and enroll in dental school, but family and the need to make money brought him back to Marion County. 

Blake would have to come out of his shell quite a bit in his time at Kentucky and would end up making several new friends. It was during a friend’s visit through Marion County that Blake would get the idea for his business. “One of my good friends in Kentucky actually started one too, and he was saying ‘you should definitely just try to open one yourself’. I was kind of looking into being a trainer, so I was already doing my research on the products,” said Springs. 

In the smoothie bar, located beside Anytime Fitness, working beside Blake is his mother Kayla.  Blake says that he values the help that he’s received from his mom and the rest of his family immensely. “I couldn’t do it without her, she knows that,” Springs said. Blake was grateful for his father who found the trailer that he works out of, a task that Blake assured was much easier said than done, as well as his brother for all the work done in order to make it operational. “My brother, Derrick, literally helped me do all the insides. I just gave him the idea of what I

Blake poses for another picture without the sunglasses, per his mother Kayla’s request

wanted and how I wanted it to look,” Springs said, as he gave a quick tour of the interior of the bar. Family has been a huge help to Blake in the infant stages of the business, and family is what keeps Blake striving toward his long-term goals, “I want to get to the point where my mom can retire,” Springs said, “I think we can do that, so that she can enjoy her grandkids growing up.”

Starting a business from the ground up comes with several challenges, but the one thing that Blake says he’s had from his first day open was support from the local community. “I see people that I know all the time. I mean the main people that came by, especially when I first started, were people that I knew,” Springs said. “It’s taken a while to build it to where people are just stopping by and I don’t know who they are, but I like that too.” The community fully supported Blake when he was starting this business, and it means a lot to him to be able to give back to his community, “I love the fact that I’m bringing something to Marion County that’s completely different, and not only is it different, it’s something that’s actually good for you,” Blake said. “Doing it in Chattanooga, I don’t think would be as rewarding to me, because like I said it’s people that I grew up around. Even if they don’t know me, we’re from the same area,” Blake said. “It’s huge to me,” Springs said in regards to the support he’s seen from the community, “I don’t even know how to express all the gratitude, I try to tell people all of the time, but I’ll never be able to truly let them know how it makes me feel and how much I appreciate it.” 

Blake’s hopes to improve his community do not stop with healthy drinks. He hopes he can do well enough to include more additions to Marion County. “We have such a diverse crowd here. There are athletes, there are people who are very smart, and I want to be able to touch into all that,” Springs said. “I want to build some kind of academy or a rec center. I still would love to do something like that,” Blake said, “I would love to grow this to be able to do something like that.” Long-term, Blake says he’d love to be a part of building something for the community that would give children in the area a place to grow and learn athletically and academically. “It’s not about the business, it’s just about doing something in Marion County,” Springs said. “My niece and nephew are going to grow up here. I have friends who are going to have kids here. I have friends who already have kids that are growing up here, and if they’re going to stay here, I want them to have every opportunity they can,” Blake said. Regardless of how big the business grows, Blake hopes the hard work gone into starting his own business can inspire the future generations of Marion County, “Even if it’s just an example, you can do whatever you want,” Blake said. 

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