THREE RIVERS, Texas — Managing a nutrition club was a dream seven years in the making for Carley Castaneda. Amid a pandemic, that dream soon saw a demand — and bright reality.
“When Covid hit last year, we were feeling the effects of it,” her husband John said, explaining that the lease for their San Antonio apartment was coming to an end. “We had some decisions to make and so what we decided was to go ahead and pursue what our dreams were initially.”
Carley and John — both Beeville natives — eventually moved back to their hometown. However, they wanted to start their business ventures in Live Oak County.
“In April of 2020, we went looking in George West, Texas,” John said. “That was a place where we had our eyes set on. There was talks of others doing it and no one actually had pulled the trigger on it.”
Their George West location, called Live Oak Nutrition, opened in June. John said business exploded.
“Like a month and a half, actually,” Carley said. “It was just crazy.”
After learning that a good number of their customers were traveling from Three Rivers, their business expanded to the nearby city with TR Nutrition five months later.
“It was very scary opening up two businesses within a pandemic,” Carley said. “We’ve been alive for almost 30 years and we’ve never experienced anything like this in our lives.”
Still, Carley and her husband are proud to say they went for something they were passionate about.
An added benefit is TR Nutrition’s gym next door. The Castanedas said they offer free group classes Monday through Thursday around 5:15 p.m.
“That’s how I started in this business — from free fit camps and stuff like that,” Carley said. “That’s really just to bring people in — to let them not deal with the stress of work and home and children and stuff and just come and let loose and focus on themselves again."
Carley said they have family in Vidor, Texas that recently opened a similar club. They too, are doing well with business.