“It’s not just being a cashier, it’s more about getting to know the people. I say I’m a cheap therapist because people come for their teas and shakes and tell me all about their problems.”
Rosalinda Ahuatzi has come a long way since starting a candy business at 9 years old.
Now 21, Ahuatzi opened her second healthy cafe, The Ville Nutrition, 18 S. Harrison Street, Wednesday.
“We use Herbalife Products, and we are individual business owners,” she said. “The first one I opened when I was 17, and I’m from Kentucky so that’s where I opened it. Last year, I had the opportunity to move to Indiana and I ran the Seymour store for about a year. I was able to save enough money to open this one.”
Ahuatzi began marketing her business on Facebook as Shelby Ville Shakes a couple weeks ago. She began renting the Harrison Street location in July, renovating in August, and is holding a soft opening this week.
She found Shelbyville through visiting small towns.
“I came to this one and really, really liked it,” she said. “I went to the Shelbyville Facebook page and I saw the project downtown. I found another location right across the street and I was stuck on that location for six weeks and no one got back to me.
“I felt so frustrated, but it was perfect because as soon as I [started] looking for another place, these [buildings] were on sale and had already sold,” she said. “The day after it sold, I called the number and said, ‘Hey, I saw you sold these, who do I call to rent one?’”
Ahuatzi was able to find the building owners and sign a lease all within a week. From there, she did the plumbing, added counters, and decorated.
The hours for the soft opening this week are Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to noon, respectively. She will hold a grand opening next week, and the hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The soft opening was kind of spontaneous.
“We were planning it, but I was waiting on one permit I was supposed to get yesterday (Tuesday) at 1 p.m.,” she said. “I didn’t want to jinx it and post [the opening].”
The Ville Nutrition offers simple shakes, simple teas, meal replacement shakes, and bubble teas. The fan-favorite shakes include strawberry shortcake, peanut butter pie, and strawberry banana. Ahuatzi hopes to add more items to the menu in the future, like coffees, donuts and oatmeal.
Ahuatzi loves working, business and marketing. And she really loves giving back to the community.
“I would love to give half my tips every month as a donation to something,” she said. “Definitely the first place is going to be the Humane Society. I love animals.”
Other goals for The Ville Nutrition including partnering with other local businesses.
“At my other stores, we do a lot of giveaways and we partner up with them,” she said. “So like, ‘Hey, I’ll trade you a $20 gift card’ and then raffle off that gift card to give the other business more promotion as well.”
The biggest difference between opening the Shelbyville location from her location in Kentucky is that she did this one herself.
“I had a lot more help because I have family over there, but this time it was just me and my boyfriend,” she said. “He’s actually a med student at IUPUI so we had to work around his schedule, as well as me having a small car – so a lot of trips everywhere.”
But the excitement of opening a new business is the reward in itself.
“I opened my first ‘business’ when I was 9,” she said. “My parents would go to festivals – and I grew up in festivals because I have two restaurants – and I put up my candy table.”
She would buy and sell phone cases at school when she was in 7th grade. In high school, she’d buy and sell makeup to the waitresses at her mother’s restaurant.
“From there, I think this is the biggest investment I made, it was about $600, I bought candy machines and put them around my parents’ restaurant,” she said.
Ahuatzi opened her first healthy cafe in Lexington, Kentucky when she was 17.
“It’s not really about the money for me, it’s about the opportunities having money opens,” she said. “When I was younger, we would save a lot during the holidays and pay for people’s dinners and groceries, and the feeling of being able to give back – I think that’s why I love it.
“With this it’s the opportunity to give others the opportunity to grow a little bit more,” she said.