Saturday, June 15, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Eckford James Spencer, the owner of Mastermind Nutrition Juice Bar, which opened in Maywood on June 15. | File
Eckford James Spencer, 56, of Naperville, is a man with a plan. He wants to uplift the community one protein shake at a time.
“My vision is to service the community by changing people’s lives,” said Spencer during the June 15 grand opening of Mastermind Nutrition, 713 S. 5th Ave. in Maywood.
“The mission is to provide the best nutrition and weight management products in the world, and the best business opportunities in direct selling,” he said. “In short, I’m getting you healthy and also wealthy.”
Spencer sells Herbalife Nutrition products, such as plant-based teas and protein mixes. Customers can order single servings in the store and/or sign-up to receive through Spencer to receive the products regularly.
Spencer with community members, area business owners, Maywood Mayor Edwenna Perkins (center), and other village officials during the June 15 ribbon-cutting and grand opening. | Submitted
Herbalife Nutrition is a global multi-level marketing company founded in 1980. Spencer said that he his relationship with Herbalife products started as a consumer. After someone recommended the products to him, Spencer said he tried them out and lost 25 pounds.
Four years ago, he went into business as a distributor for the company. The Maywood location is his first brick-and-mortar hub. His goal is for his Maywood location to be the first of 12 hubs located throughout the state and country.
The Maywood juice bar includes books that customers can browse as they order or sip. | File
“I want to be a leader of my race, because the Black man is put down all over the world and I’m tired of that,” Spencer said.
Spencer said he got the name for Mastermind Nutrition from one of his favorite books, “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill.
During the Saturday grand opening, Spencer served a protein shake to Jim Gardner, who owned a real estate company, Mastermind Realty, located on 5th Avenue, just across the street from the Maywood Public Library.
The two men said that the identical names were purely coincidental. For Spencer, however, the coincidence isn’t meaningless.
“In this book, he tells you to team up with somebody who thinks like you,” Spencer said. “How I think is, you have to have a mission in life, but in order to have a mission you have to have a vision. In the future, I see myself being financially independent. I must have seven streams of income.”
First-time customers Calvin Collier, Malek Nelson and Jim Gardner with Spencer on June 15. | File
Gardner said that he met Spencer after inviting him to a 17th Avenue Business District meeting on June 13.
“We wanted all of the businesses in the area, and around Maywood, to meet each other and discuss how we can make things better in the area,” Gardner said. “We want to know how we can support each other.”
Spencer’s vision permeates the storefront space, where inspirational quotes and health-related charts line the walls, and a table of books greets visitors who may want to read while they sip (heads up: the books aren’t for sale).
Maywood residents Malek Nelson, 19, and Calvin Collier, 25, were two of Spencer’s first customers.
“I think a business like this will help the community, because we have so many young people who are obese,” said Nelson, as he sipped a breakfast shake. “It tastes good. Tastes like cereal.”
Mastermind Nutrition is open Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed on Sunday. For more info, contact Spencer at (773) 598-0134. VFP
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to Mastermind Nutrition as a juice bar. This article has since been updated. VFP regrets the error.
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