Freedom New Mexico: Liliana Castillo Lisa Thalleen talks to a customer about the natural ingredients in the berry smoothie that she ordered Tuesday at Chillers Nutrition.
By Eric Butler: Freedom New Mexico
When Lisa Thalleen relocated to Cannon Air Force Base last November, she found that the cities of Clovis and Portales didn’t quite have every amenity she had come to expect from living in places like Oklahoma City, near Los Angeles, in Japan, in Hawaii and in Maryland.
So Thalleen is altering the landscape herself. The 42-year-old wife of Master Sergeant Michael Thalleen has good reason to do what she can to make the region more attractive to people like herself: Namely, she’s planning on staying.
“We’re gonna stay here. We bought a house in Colonial Park and everything,” Lisa Thalleen said. “I really like the small town. I’m tired of big cities.”
Larger population centers do have their amenities, however. After arriving in Clovis, Thalleen went to a local business and ordered a smoothie.
Suffice it to say she wasn’t impressed.
“I told my husband, ‘We’ve got to open one — a good one,’” Thalleen remembered. “Isn’t that bad? I was just going to finish school in interior design and open my own design shop. But this is more my passion.”
Although she had no experience in running that kind of retail business, Thalleen decided to launch her own store. Chillers, located next to Cato’s clothing store near Wal-Mart, opened its doors on April 6 with a focus on serving healthy smoothies as well as a variety of other products.
“The smoothies are low calories, low sugar, so even a diabetic can have it, but they’re delicious. We’re also working with this Hawaiian company on getting these bath and body soaps,” said Thalleen, who bubbles with excitement when talking about her store’s other facets like wi-fi capability and a mini-gym in the back for devoted customers who want a quick workout.
“Some of these customers use the smoothies for weight loss and I want to be able to train them on how to do exercises right,” added Thalleen, a former certified personal trainer in Hawaii. “Some of my customers are overweight and they don’t want to go to the gym, so I tell them they can work out in the back as long as I’m open.”
Thalleen hopes to open another Chillers in Portales and, eventually, one at Cannon itself.
“We’re gonna get on base — we’re working on that right now. They want us. It’s just a lot of going through that government stuff,” she said. “We are military and I wanted to offer the military more of a variety and something more healthy for them.”
“Just getting to talk to her husband and her, they’re wanting to be part of the community,” said Clovis realty agent Leah Cotton of the Thalleens. “I love that aspect of it. (Michael) wants to get involved in our town, helping it grow.
“I think that’s a great thing, since he knows what base people are looking for,” Cotton added.