Bridget and Eddie Reymond, Eddie's Health Shoppe, 8025 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, July 2018
When I interviewed Kelley and Eddie Reymond last May about their beautiful home at the Ely Building downtown, Eddie said something that stuck with me. He said he wanted to not only live downtown, but to be an important part of the center city. The co-founder of the Knoxville Track Club and Knoxville Marathon is making good on that commitment when he opens a second location of Eddie’s Health Shoppe at the corner of Union and Walnut (455 Union Avenue).
The Health Shoppe opened in 1995 in Halls and was co-owned by Eddie. A second location opened at 8025 Kingston Pike in 2004. The partners eventually split and, increasingly, the Kingston Pike location was referenced as “Eddie’s.” The business has grown exponentially and evolved as it grew.
Eddie is also president and part owner of ZenEvo Chocolates which was founded in 2010, with sales and production beginning in 2012. The high quality dark chocolate, which comes infused with multivitamins, protein or protein (as well as other infusions) has become a steady seller in the store. It will be highlighted in the new store as a Knoxville product.
The range of products offered at the west store will be available downtown, though the group plans to emphasize products which might fit more with that market. You’ll find beauty and self-care products including essential oils with a dozen or so different diffusers, as well as all natural soap and shampoo. You’ll find herbs in both liquid and capsules, vitamins and a sports nutrition section, as well as hemp products and CBD.
A growing emphasis out west and a significant emphasis downtown, will be foods (in addition to the chocolates), like snack bars, ready-to-go foods and Hydrate water, nuts and seeds, “healthy jerkies,” cauliflower breads, high protein pancakes and nut butters. He says they are always looking for the latest in healthy products. “Downtown residents like to go out and have fun, but they want a balance and look for things that improve their health.”
They will also offer fitness and health-related products like backpacks and water bottles, as well as branded merchandise like t shirts. He says the store is unique in its range of offerings and goes well beyond what is typically thought of as a health store. He wants tourists who visit downtown to come away saying it’s the best store of its kind they have seen.
He also has plans to host connected events, such as a regularly scheduled run leaving from that corner. He’s already working with other downtown businesses, such as the Juice Bar, to do cross promotions and joint events. He’s not waiting until he opens – he’s already got some events scheduled. While employees will rotate through the store, you’ll likely see Eddie’s daughter, Bridget, a body builder, who is both the manager of the west location and a co-owner of the new location.
Regarding the grab-and-go meals, they pointed out that whole meal prepping is big, right now and they plan to have a number of prepared meals in the freezer and a selection in the refrigerated coolers. They hope to work with local brands like Betsy’s Pantry, Naked Foods and Simon Hall, as well as Clean Etz. The two feel there will be a market for the meals both from downtown residents as well as workers, with a healthy meal offered for less than the price of eating out.
They estimate they probably carry over 100 types of health bars, as well as RTDs. They called their drinks, “healthier versions of sports drinks. Bridget said, “We’re hoping those will be good for people going to workout.” They pointed out the increase in workout options downtown and they hope to work with them, as well.
Along with Bridget, whose role is expanding, you can expect the new store to have about four employees to start. She said, “We aren’t sure what to expect, so we will be prepared for anything at this point.” The two also pointed out that the performance labs out west will not be replicated, but they’ll bring one machine downtown: a Seca body composition measuring tool which, for a price, will measure body fat and provide other data. Downtown customers will be able to drop in and get the work up provided.
The new location will have about 2,000 square feet for retail, which is similar to the west location. They hope to have it open by late August, so the business will take shape quickly. At this time, plans for hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM and Sunday from Noon to 6:00 PM.