“Perhaps this is the moment for which you were created.”
So reads a decorative sign using a version of a Bible quote from Esther 4:14. The sign sits atop a shelf bearing a variety of food products that Shari Walls personally uses and recommends to her clients, in hopes of saving them from alternatives that could keep them from being the healthiest version of themselves.
Shari is a certified health coach, and the queen of Saving Kitchens in Metamora. She comes alive when she talks about what she does, and it’s pretty clear she was created for this moment in her life.
It all began when Shari, a wife, mother and grandmother, finally took control of her own eating, learning about nutrition, applying what she learned, and ultimately taking off 50 excess pounds to discover a new vitality. That led her to want to share what she’d learned in order to help others become healthier as well.
“When I did Save the Kitchens, it was just a blog,” she said. “I was just going to teach people what I do. My own life was transforming.”
She wrote a cookbook with some of her recipes, then she began coaching people who wanted to learn more about how to take control of their own kitchens. She taught them to read labels, and she created meal plans for them to follow. Support groups formed, and a “flood of people” began coming to her for help.
The more she nourished her clients, the healthier they and her business became, and she was able to leave a series of unfulfilling jobs to open a storefront and pursue her passion full-time. The moment for which she’d been created had arrived.
Saving Kitchens opened almost a year ago at 880 W. Dryden Road in Metamora, and walking into the shop is like being welcomed into Shari’s home. I was barely inside the door and she was offering me a cup of tea. Her way of speaking to you is like a family member, even if you just met.
“You like sweet potatoes? We’re going to eat some sweet potatoes,” she said, placing a small dish in front of me.
It wasn’t a question. Good thing I like sweet potatoes, but even if I didn’t, I’d probably have liked hers. They were delicious.
The shop smelled like she was cooking up something wonderful and comforting. She doesn’t have a kitchen there, but she does tasting events and demos, so she does have a toaster oven. Those events have proven popular, and will be a regular feature at Saving Kitchens. Event dates, videos and more can be found on the Saving Kitchens Facebook page
Note: The Facebook page is Save the Kitchens LLC, the shop is Saving Kitchens, and sometimes it’s just STK. It’s all the same, Shari said. Facebook just wouldn’t let her change the name.
Anyone is welcome to stop by and shop, though she emphasizes she’s more service-based rather than a health food store. Still, the options available for purchase are all items that fit into her notion of avoiding foods that cause inflammation. The store is pleasant, too, with a lot of attention to detail in the decor. It matches Shari’s style of cooking, with simple, wholesome, pleasing ingredients blending together to make a delicious experience.
Saving Kitchens is open from noon to 6 p.m. Mondays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays; and by appointment for clients on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Shari can be reached by calling 810-656-9635, and plenty of information can be found on her Facebook page.