Q&A: Susan Cabana, of Nourish Your Soul
On November 10, 2004, Susan Cabana, a mother of three living in Winchester, heard her husband get up to take care of their one-year-old in the middle of the night. A few moments later, she heard one of her children screaming, and ran in the room to see Chris, her husband of 10 years, lying on the floor. He passed away at age 37. “It was a sudden death, he had gotten up to take care of our teething daughter in the middle of the night,” she says. “They say his heart just stopped. There was no way of preventing or knowing.”
Cabana, now 46, says that it was the two-year journey after his death when she realized the benefits of eating healthy and exercising. “When I made the decision to live again for myself and my kids, I starting eating healthy and feeling more conscious and present,” she says. “When I was laid off in 2009 from Putnam, after 18 years as a Senior Vice President in marketing, I decided to shift gears from finance. I started drinking green juice daily and it was on my yoga mat that I decided to pursue a career in nutrition and yoga.”
That’s why Cabana opened her own business called Nourish Your Soul, which offers yoga, juices, smoothies, and cleanses (in addition to a variety of locally produced healthy snacks from other companies). We caught up with Cabana as she was set to open her second brick-and-mortar shop to find out how she overcame grief and tragedy to start her own business, and why she shunned going wholesale.
So what drove you to start the business?
After I received my holistic coach certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I began consulting and providing nutritional sessions with clients. I was drinking 32 ounces of green juice daily and seeing an amazing transformation in my life. Since I had seen the changes personally, I thought I should start experimenting to make it for [my clients]. So I started creating juices and in 2012 opened the first space [in Medford] selling cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and cleanses.
What led you to open a second location?
After about a year in Medford, I was confident that the business was doing well. We were growing every day and getting great feedback. There were two ways to expand, and that was either a second location or going wholesale. In order to go wholesale, I would have to pasteurize the juices. I believe in the highest quality juice, one that is unaltered and raw to keep the integrity of the vitamins and minerals, so wholesale was a no-go.
What made you choose Fort Point for your second shop?
A friend put me in touch with George Foreman III and his team. I loved his philosophy of “everybody fights for something” as I had experienced that personally in my life. We shared that philosophy and agreed that Nourish Your Soul would be a great fit at his gym, The Club, but also for the people in the area—it’s such a cool, up-and-coming space of the city with great residential and business communities. I am still looking at growing, and am continuing to look at other communities.
So we can expect a third location soon?
What’s your most popular item and why?
The green juice and grapefruit green are our most popular juices. Chlorophyll, found in all green plants and juices, safely eliminates toxins on a cellular level by flooding the body with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Other benefits include glowing skin, a boost to your immune system, elevated mood, mental clarity, and increased energy and metabolism. They are nourishing and healing for the whole body.
Do you still teach yoga?
I teach at Prana Power Yoga in Winchester and have also begun teaching a class at The Club. I teach Vinyasa Flow and also do private sessions. I love the power of this style of yoga. Yoga empowers you to find your center, breath more, detox, and de-stress. You feel stronger, more energized, and clear with each breath.
What do you want people to know about overcoming tragedy and using that energy to do something good?
I believe that we are all faced with events in our life that cause us to grow or not. We all have that ability to shift, make a choice to grow from challenges and come out the other side. I feel that these challenges can force you to look inside, dig deep, and be a stronger, more compassionate person. I believe that, through food and taking care of your body and mind, you can heal. I am so grateful for my kids, friends, family, and my path.
How have your life experiences shaped who you are today?
I have learned not to take people or life for granted because in one moment, it can all be gone. I found my way back to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. I found joy and meaning in my life once again. And I recovered from the loss of my husband and my long-time career to find a new love of life and mission. I believe that with time, perseverance, and patience, we all can discover more joy, love, and fulfillment in our life.