Family is important to Karen Maldonado.

Although she is not from Lafayette and has no family in Lafayette, the Lafayette family made the Lafayette the right place to open their first business.

“I feel very welcome from the people of the city,” said Maldonado. “They all said, ‘If we can help, let us know.’ That family feeling made the decision to come there. This welcoming feeling is what I’m looking for. I want everyone who walks in to feel part of the family. “

Maldonado hopes to see a large family walk through their door soon when Lafayette Nutrition opens this Saturday.

“I’m really excited,” said Maldonado. “I lived in Nashville for almost 10 years. The people there are nice, but when someone mentions Lafayette I think of the family and it’s welcoming. That makes me excited. “

Maldonado’s father (Jacob Maldonado) owns a similar business in Smyrna, ARJA Nutrition.

“We’re bringing it to Lafayette because we know there’s nothing like it there,” said Maldonado.

Maldonado didn’t initially have a specific location where she wanted to open her business.

“My parents (Jacob and Arjelia Maldonado) knew pretty much about the cities,” said Karen Maldonado. “They came there one day and saw the space available.

“Every time they came into a city, they looked around to see if there was space. Mrs. Sherril (Burrow) was the owner of the room. She said it was a great idea. She said that she would like to do business with us. That’s how we got in there. “

The company is located at 1202 Scottsville Road in the building that used to be S&H Sweet Treats.

“We’ve been looking for the past six months,” said Maldonado. “We made the decision at the beginning of March. Everything was so fast. “

The business will mainly focus on smoothies and energy teas.

“All products, including smoothies, pies, and waffles, will contain protein,” said Maldonado. “The two most important things will be protein smoothies. They’re made with the Herbalife protein and we’re going to add some extra toppings … like granola and fresh fruit. We’ll have more variety. We will also have our energy teas. You will be loaded with vitamins and we will be drinking teas with fresh fruit on a regular basis.

“We’re going to add protein donuts, cakes, and waffles.”

Maldonado also plans to add more products as customer input dictates.

“When we meet Lafayette customers, we bring special drinks every weekend,” said Maldonado. “You asked about bubble tea. So let’s make our own version of bubble tea … or maybe we’ll have another dessert. But basically, the teas, the smoothies, and the other three things stay on the menu. “

Maldonado is said to be open seven days a week, starting every day at 7 a.m. and on weekdays until 7 p.m., on Saturdays until 5 p.m. and on Sundays until 2 p.m.

“We want the grand opening on a Saturday so everyone can come to us,” said Maldonado. “That way they can try to see what we have.

“We want it to be more fun when people can try the products, eat healthily and try the products.”

With the positive feedback it received before the opening, Maldonado, who lives in Antioch, also hopes to move to the area soon.

“Everyone will be really happy,” said Maldonado. “It’s a good mood. This will be the first one I open myself. When I see the positive reaction, I feel like we are going in the right direction.

“ARJA Nutrition has been open for about seven years. Hopefully one day we can say the same thing about Lafayette. “