New business for health, wellness
- Published: October 26, 2017
By Christine Klinger
Health advocate Leslie Edmunds is realizing her dream — a dream that comes from a lot of labor. As owner of Clem & Thyme Nutrition/Wellness at 4359 E. Enon Road in Yellow Springs, she now has her own local wellness center with a focus on nutrition and tons of potential.
Edmund’s former practice, known as Healthy Hearts Nutrition, was located at 14 E. Main St. in downtown Springfield. She offered the same individual and corporate nutrition counseling as she does now. But after five years she knew it was time for a change.
The new Clem & Thyme complex is located in the farmhouse and surrounding buildings next to Antioch University Midwest. Edmunds and friends renovated the place for four months and moved in a few weeks ago. She held an open house on Saturday, Oct. 7, to show it off; more activities are in the works.
“We are so excited about our new location because we are going to do so many things that we couldn’t do before,” said Edmunds recently.
Among other things, she plans to offer cooking classes, a book club, support groups, wellness workshops, work-out classes and a community garden. By “community garden,” she means that the staff plants it and offers the produce to their patrons free of charge — sort of a delicious and nutritious “thank you” gift.
As a professional dietitian and wellness advocate, Edmunds says that Clem & Thyme’s main focus is to offer personalized nutrition and wellness consultations. “Most of our clients — 90 to 95 percent — are shocked and excited that these consultations are usually 100 percent covered by insurance under the Affordable Care Act,” she said. “And that makes total sense. Because no matter what your politics are, most people realize that if you can prevent illnesses you will save a lot of money in the long run.”
She also realizes that incorporating wellness into one’s life is a process. “People can’t change their eating habits overnight.”
Edmunds and her new dietitian, Katie Poppe, meet with clients on a regular basis for education and preventive care. “We see a good many people with digestive conditions, diabetes, auto-immune diseases, and so forth. And I tell them — ‘that’s not right. You shouldn’t have to live with that.’”
Edmunds said when she decided to move her business to Yellow Springs, she took the opportunity to change the business name from Healthy Hearts Nutrition to Clem & Thyme Nutrition/Wellness.
“We wanted to rebrand because some people thought we only worked with cardiac patients because ‘heart’ was in our name. And we wanted our new name to be fun,” she said. “My maiden name is Clem, and since the farmhouse is part of the 100-acre farm my parents own — we thought it would be fitting to include our family name in our new business name. Clementines are one of my favorite fruits and we changed the spelling to include one of our favorite herbs — thyme! That was quite a brainstorming session!”
Karen Wintrow, Council President/Chamber executive director, is also excited about what Clem & Thyme is up to.
“It’s a great local story because she (Edmunds) brought it here to Yellow Springs from Springfield and is focusing on local food and making use of the garden,” Wintrow said.
It’s also an interesting zoning case for Miami Township because Edmunds was able to achieve zoning under the new state agritourism bill that enables farmers to expand the focus of their business by providing more direct services to consumers.
Wintrow notes that if people want to learn more about the agritourism bill, they may contact Executive Director Ken LeBlanc of The Regional Planning and Coordinating Commission of Greene County (RPCC), at email@example.com.
“Ken has done a great deal of research on the topic,” she said. “Clearly, Peifer Orchard and Young’s Dairy are agritourism but they were here before the bill took effect. As far as I know, Clem & Thyme is the first new agritourism business in Miami Township.”
And the business is a good fit with the food and wellness culture of Yellow Springs, Wintrow said. By connecting the community to local agriculture and focusing on the healthful eating of fresh, local food, Clem & Thyme will be a resource on the role nutrition plays in overall wellness.
Edmunds’ dream for a healthy community continues to evolve. Now that she has a lot more space, Clem & Thyme hopes to not only do more but to expand its staff over time as well. The business currently consists of two dietitians — Edmunds and Poppe — and she plans to hire another soon. Poppe, who came with Edmunds from their previous place, said “we just had this tiny office in downtown Springfield next to a parking garage. This is so much different. I love it!”
Edmunds agrees, noting that “just being a business owner is a dream in itself. And moving the practice to this farm in Yellow Springs is the cherry on top. Who wouldn’t want to smell fresh country air and look out their office window at a field of corn? Much better than a parking garage.”
*Christine Klinger is a Yellow Springs writer and visual artist. She can be reached via http://www.klingerart.com.