HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A lot of people think meat is the best or only way to get protein into their diet. But, as this crisis drags on, there are plenty of options the owner of a local Nutrishop hopes people start using.
“When it comes down to what we carry, we take a lot of pride in carrying things that are going to be absolutely essential natural and provide us with great health,” Cody Durakovic, the owner of two Nutrishops in Tampa.
HILLSBOROUGH NEWS | The latest headlines from Hillsborough County
In 2014, Durakovic started the business with his mom. After his football career at USF ended, he needed something else to focus on. Health and wellness were his keys to success.
Even though they’ve lost nearly 70 percent of their business, two locations in South Tampa and Northdale are still open.
Durakovic says they have to stay open for their employees and so the public can have access to healthy alternatives they might not have considered before.
“We take a lot of pride in carrying things that are going to be absolutely essential, natural and provide us with great health,” Durakovic said. “Supplementation is key right now with everything being so scarce. Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, phytonutrients things that improve our immune systems and keep us healthy and reduce cortisol levels, which is stress.”
This week, several high profile meat processing facilities were forced to close as workers test positive for COVID-19.
The meat supply chain is especially vulnerable since processing is increasingly done at massive plants that butcher tens of thousands of animals daily, so the closure of even a few big ones can quickly be felt by customers.
For instance, a Smithfield Foods plant was forced to close in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, after nearly 300 of the plant’s 3,700 workers tested positive for the virus. They produced roughly 5% of the U.S. pork supply each day.
On Thursday, Smithfield said they are closing two more plants, which process ham and bacon. And, millions of chickens in the Northeast are facing slaughter because there aren’t enough workers to process them.
Durakovic said when there was a run on eggs, he was able to give his customers another option.
“We carry a product called muscle egg, which is 100% liquid egg whites that comes in a gallon jug,” Durakovic said. “And, a lot of people didn’t know we carried that until these issues started to come about.”
Durakovic is a certified sports nutritionist and personal trainer. He says right now, a lot of people are rethinking how they get their food, exercise and eating to stay healthy as this virus continues to alter how we live our lives.
He says we can do all of that “with natural ingredients that really support our bodies our minds our immunity and overall bodily function.”
Nutrishop is offering curbside and delivery all over the world. The stores located at 415 S Dale Mabry and 15722 N Dale Mabry are still open.
First responders and medical staff are also receiving an additional 15% off.