Laura Rivera jumped in with both feet and has no plans to look back.
Rivera made the decision to start her own business when her 15-year position at Walmart was eliminated, to show herself and family that with a dream and hard work anything is possible.
“After being with a company for 15 years and being let go, I decided to open my own business for my kids to show them it is possible to be your own boss,” Rivera said. “My oldest daughter was looking for a job and I told her, ‘You can help me with this and learn about running a business.’ I want her to run her own business and teach her we can do it.”
Rivera has four other children — Jayden, 12, Miley, 8, Jandel, 6, and A.J., 3 — and sees the business as a way to teach them the benefits that come with hard work. Rivera stresses a healthy lifestyle with her family and hopes to play a part in that for her customers.
That determination has led to one of Hermiston’s newest businesses in Get Fit Nutrition, focusing on healthy food and drinks. The menu includes iced and hot coffee, protein shakes, energy drinks, boba teas, fruit açai bowls and fresh protein waffles all designed to cut down on sugar and calories, and promote a healthier way of living.
Rivera, who grew up in Hermiston, already was running the business out of her home before deciding to expand. The process took about six months to find the right location, remodel and get all of the certifications she needed, but she received help from her family to make it a reality.
Her husband, Amando Armenta, owns the construction company Armenta and Sons and helped do a full remodel on the building at 130 S.E. Third St., while her oldest daughter, Jenexy Rivera, 17, and friends will help Rivera with the day to day.
“I had the vision and Amando made it work perfectly,” said Rivera of the space that includes bar and table seating as well as a selfie station to add some fun to an outing.
Get Fit Nutrition had its grand opening July 24, and the early returns have been promising.
“It has been really busy,” said Rivera, who built up relationships while working in Hermiston over the years. “The community has really been supporting me. The waffles and açai bowls have been the most popular because the first few days I have run out of almost everything.”
Rivera said food and drinks that are delish and healthy is a combination that has been successful for her and one she hopes will drive people through the door for years to come.
The business is open seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekend.
Rivera’s aunt, Martha Macias, and best friend, Amanda Olivo, also work at the new business along with two of her daughter’s friends, Maya Rodriguez and Crystal Sanguino.
For Rivera, the business represents an opportunity to work in something she is passionate about.
“If you do something you like every day, you never work another day in your life,” she said.