By Rebecca Metcalf
Vibe Well of Fenton, Mich., Genesee County’s favorite organic juice/smoothie bar and wellness space, recently brought Flint native Tina Wilder on as their new general manager. Kyyba: Health & Life sat down with Chef Wilder to talk about finding balance and what she brings to the Vibe Well team.
Wilder’s love affair with the culinary arts began in 2016 when she graduated from Mott Community College (MCC) with an associate’s degree in General Studies and Applied Science in Culinary Arts/Food Management. After graduating, she worked at MCC’s Applewood Café as an instructor’s aid and sous chef, and was a sushi chef at Redwood Steakhouse in Grand Blanc, Mich, as well. She went on to work with Chef Marge Murphy at Cork on Saginaw in Flint.
In 2018, she started Wildflower Catering Service. It is a personal chef service providing healthy vegan, gluten and allergy-free meals. In Feb. 2019, she started coordinating and teaching Flint Kids Cook (FKC). This is a nutritional study through Michigan State University. She works with a nutritionist to teach kids ages 8 to 17 about nutrition and how to prepare and cook healthy meals.
Prior to pursuing her journey in the food service industry, Wilder gained invaluable managerial experience working at her family’s trucking and air freight business at Bishop International Airport for nine years. The last five of it, she ran the entire operation. This experience, and her time as a chef, made her the perfect fit to assist Vibe Well owners Jennifer Ream and Christine Landaal to ensure their business is running smoothly.
“Being a chef has taught me to conduct myself gracefully under pressure and to lead with integrity.”
Everything Wilder does is meticulously scheduled. That is how she is able to balance her work and personal life. She works as a team with the father of her four children: Helena, Shauney, Nevita and Ezekiel. “It can be a challenge to balance work and home; but whenever I’m not working, I’m with my family as much as possible. We work together to keep everyone and everything on track. It is much like running a business. It all comes down to planning and organizing,” she said. Wilder feels blessed to have such a great support system in her friends and family.
Despite Wilder’s busy home life and work schedule, she is able to remain balanced. This need to be balanced aligns perfectly with the Vibe Well philosophy. The unique concept of bringing together a juice bar and meditation space integrates both the body and mind. They believe without attention to both, it becomes more challenging to be fully aligned with our health and well-being.
In order to stay healthy, Wilder takes time for herself. She practices yoga and meditation to keep her mind nimble. She also does a variety of muscle toning workouts to keep her strong. When she can’t make it to the gym, she works out at home. Her diet is healthy, and mostly plant-based, although she is not vegan.
“I try not to deprive myself of my favorite foods. I am just more aware of how much I can eat, and what I should avoid. I look for alternatives if they are available,” she explained. Her favorite beverage from Vibe Well is “Nourish.” It’s packed with Vitamin C, and a great way to get greens in if one is not a salad eater. If Wilder wants a sweet treat, she goes for “Luminous.” It has pineapple, apple and lemon. She likes to joke that it would make a great pina colada mixer. While she enjoys all of the juice at Vibe Well, most of the time she orders what her body is craving. She also looks forward to creating her own new and exciting recipes.
When asked what her experience brings to the Vibe Well tribe, Wilder listed her business experience, culinary/food service management education and passion for healthy cooking.
Wilder said she appreciates both the customers and the owners, and feels privileged to work at Vibe Well.
“The atmosphere is fantastic! The moment you walk in the door, the smell of citrus and ginger are in the air,” she said. “The dry erase board always has a positive message. Relaxing music plays. It’s exciting to walk into work and be surrounded by positive experiences.”
495 N. Fenway Dr.
Fenton, Mi. 48430
Hours of Operation:
Mon to Fri., 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sun., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wildflower Catering Service