SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Virginia – Mariners Landing officials announced today the addition of two new businesses, part of an extensive, ongoing redevelopment to the 1,000-acre waterfront resort community.
LAT Personal Training is operational in the 15,000-square-foot Mariners Landing Wellness Center, which includes a gym, indoor pool, studio space for exercise classes and locker rooms. Opening soon inside will be Tootie’s Smoothies + Toasts, a cafe focused on nourishing whole foods such as smoothies, açaí bowls and plant-based specialty toasts.
“We are so excited to welcome these two health-focused entrepreneurs to Mariners Landing,” said Waller Perrow, who assumed ownership of Mariners Landing last year with development partner Tom Branch. “Along with the many improvements being made to the indoor and outdoor facilities, offering fitness classes, personal training and healthy, tasty food are additional amenities that residents and guests can enjoy year-round.”
Laurie Andrews, a clinical exercise physiologist and owner of LAT Personal Training, said she and her staff work with clients of all fitness levels, combining mind, body and spirit through integrated practices.
Andrews moved to Smith Mountain Lake from Alexandria in June 2020 and immediately recognized a need for wellness services, she said.
“We’re looking to bring to the area boot camps, outdoor yoga opportunities, personal training and small group personal training,” she said. “Over the course of the next year, we also plan to bring wellness events to Mariners Landing and partner with organizations to raise money. I’m a big proponent of bringing health to the region and supporting small businesses and nonprofits.”
Andrews, who offers in-person and virtual options, said demand has been strong and she’s in the process of hiring additional certified personal trainers.
“We’d like to add yoga classes on the pointe and outdoor boot camps,” said Andrews, referring to the waterfront green space at The Pointe at Mariners Landing. “We’re already doing two boot camps per week and are launching another one on Feb. 3. The classes are limited to 10 people, and we’re taking all the necessary safety precautions.”
Ashley Earick, a Bedford County native who recently moved back to the area after nearly a decade in New York City, said she plans to open Tootie’s Smoothies + Toasts in March. Customers will be able to place to-go orders or dine in the cafe with seating that allows for social distancing.
“Our mission at Tootie’s is to enable the community to take charge of their health by offering convenient, simple, nutrient-dense food options,” Earick said. “We hope to educate our customers on the healing benefits of our ingredients and empower them to find a healthier relationship with food.”
Earick said customers can expect a “groovy vibe,” colorful, high-quality ingredients and an accessible, supportive approach to clean, anti-inflammatory, plant-based nourishment. An example is the “I am alive” smoothie, made with cold-brew coffee to energize the body, and balanced with maca root and cacao to keep the nervous system grounded. It’s topped with gluten-free granola and cacao nibs for “some crunchy goodness,” she said.
Earick, who has extensive experience in the restaurant industry, said her original idea was to open the business as a food truck but changed her mind after meeting Perrow.
“He pitched the idea of starting Tootie’s at Mariners Landing in their cafe space, and I simply couldn’t say no to the possibility of bringing convenient nourishment to my hometown community in this way,” Earick said. “Not to mention, it would have been a total shame to pass up the opportunity to work alongside a seasoned businessman and incredible teacher like Waller. This is my first business and I am so looking forward to learning from and growing alongside the wonderful team at the new Mariners Landing.”