Buchanan couple to renovate historic building into smoothie shop

BUCHANAN — Inside the building at 113 E. Front St. in downtown Buchanan, a formerly vacant building is undergoing a transformation to become an operational business.

While it is apparent from the lack of heat and some bare wooden beams that the transition is in progress, one Buchanan couple has been spearheading the effort with the hopes of offering a variety of cold smoothies to customers
by June 1.

Kati and Leland Payne recently began leasing the property and plan to spend the next couple of months renovating the 1,500-square-foot space. The finished product will be called Bucktown Nutrition and feature a smoothie bar with seating for 30 people.

Customers will be able to choose from more than 100 smoothie varieties, including flavors like banana nut muffin and strawberry cheesecake, as well as coffee flavored smoothie beverages, teas and health bars. Each smoothie is designed to contain 200 calories or less, 21 vitamins and minerals and 24 grams of protein.

The Paynes are partners with Mi Nutrition in Niles, which utilizes Herbalife products to concoct the health-conscious beverages. Their business will follow the same model.

“We are happy with the results that we have seen from the nutrition program,” Leland said. “We wanted to bring it to our hometown of Buchanan and help other people.”

The Paynes both grew up in Buchanan. Together they have raised their seven children in Buchanan. Their youngest are currently in middle school.

When a longtime friend, Cameron Downey, said he had space available in his downtown Buchanan building, the Paynes decided to jump at the chance to lease the space for their business. The historic building was constructed in 1867 and has been vacant for more than 10 years, according to the Paynes. While such a project will involve quite a bit of work, the Paynes said they were ready for the undertaking.

“This product and smoothie clubs are booming everywhere,” Leland said. “We wanted to come to our hometown before someone from out of town came and claimed it. Now that we are living a nutritious, active lifestyle, we want to share that with people.”

Leland owned a lawncare business for a number of years. He has also worked in the iron works industry, which he said gives him some background in construction.

The couple said they still need to install flooring, walls and a bar. They have already purchased some furniture for the shop. 

“We are just waiting for permission to start building,” Leland said.

While the project has been approved and zoned as a nutritious smoothie club by the city of Buchanan, the couple is awaiting building permits. The historic building was constructed in 1867. Because of the building’s historic status, grants could be available to help cover some of the cost. Leland said Downey is currently working on that process.

Leland said Kati encouraged him to try the smoothie products a couple of months ago. At first, Leland said he was skeptical, but losing some weight changed his perspective, he said.

Leland said he hopes that those who visit will get more than a cold beverage.

“[I hope it offers] a healthy, nutritious lifestyle,” Payne said.

The Paynes said they hope to offer expansive business hours to customers. Their aim right now is to have the shop open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The couple said they are looking forward to serving customers and becoming part of their hometown’s downtown business district. For more information and updates, visit facebook.com/Bucktown-Nutrition-537184396653826.

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