Casianos expand business


Smoothie Life opens with Meal Prep Life

By Shannon Bohle - sbohle@aimmediamidwest.com



Stevie Fuller, left, of Anna, gets help from Smoothie Life employee Rylie Edwards, of Sidney, bagging her salad on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Fuller also purchased a Beach Blender smoothie.

Stevie Fuller, left, of Anna, gets help from Smoothie Life employee Rylie Edwards, of Sidney, bagging her salad on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Fuller also purchased a Beach Blender smoothie.


Mixing smoothies at Smoothie Life are, front to back, Rylie Edwards, Brylee Casiano and Morgan Clark, all of Sidney. The three were working on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at the store located at 2050 West Michigan Street.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Morgan Clark, of Sidney, measures out ingredients for a smoothie at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 West Michigan Street.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Morgan Clark, of Sidney, pours a freshly made smoothie into a cup at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 West Michigan Street.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Barb Zumberger, left, tries to figure out what she wants while Ryle Edwards, both of Sidney, takes her order at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 West Michigan Street. Working in back is Morgan Clark, of Sidney.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Ryle Edwards, left, hands a smoothie to Barb Zumberger, both of Sidney, at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 W. Michigan St.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

October is Down’s Syndrome Awareness Month. Gia Casiano sips a smoothie during Smoothie Life’s Down’s Syndrome fundraiser. The 3.21 stands for the trisomy (three copies) of chromosome 21 that results in Down’s Syndrome.


Courtesy photo

Use your smartphone to place an order.


Courtesy photo

SIDNEY — Julie Casiano, along with her husband, Joe, consolidated their existing Meal Prep Life business with their new Smoothie Life business in August 2021. Both are located at 2050 W. Michigan St. in the Sidney Towne Center.

“I was raised in Sidney in a home where we ate healthy meals, and my mom made food from scratch. We always had fruits and vegetables. Eating fast food and unhealthy food was a rarity. Living in a small town, there are not a lot of food options, and after I had my youngest daughter, I found myself, being a busy mom, I found that having your meals freshly prepared early in the week provides healthy and convenience for living a healthy lifestyle. Back then, I had the idea to offer my meal prepping for others. It started with a few friends, sharing meals, and the business organically grew through word of mouth. People are busy with their families and jobs, so trying to prepare healthy meals is not easy. That’s why, three years ago, we started our first business, Meal Prep Life,” Casiano said.

Their first business started not long after the birth of their daughter.

“When my daughter, Gia, was born, we found out she had Down’s Syndrome. Having a child with disabilities really changes your life and we did not want to put her in day care. That’s how Meal Prep Life was created years ago,” Casiano said.

Their boxed lunches come with free delivery in Sidney but require a minimum order of 15 boxes. The $10 box includes a sandwich, wrap, or croissant; one cold side dish; a small bag of chips, and a small desert. They can be upgraded for $2 more, adding a fresh fruit or veggie with dip, and a deluxe (rather than regular) desert. Sandwiches options include Italian, club, or classic chicken salad. Wraps choices include Italian, California club, turkey bacon ranch, or pesto turkey. croissants include cranberry pecan chicken salad, grape/walnut chicken salad, or ham and Swiss.

“A lot of my customers turn to Meal Prep Life for their work lunches, while others use it for quick dinner options,” said Casiano. “We offer five meal options and healthy snack options each week. The menu is open for ordering every Wednesday evening through Friday, with pickups on Sundays and Mondays. Local delivery is $5, or there are free meetups in Troy, Piqua, and McCartyville on Sundays.”

New weekly menus are posted Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. on their website, www.TheMealPrepLife.com.

Meal Prep Life also offers custom catering for special events, like corporate lunches, bridal showers, and baby showers. Meal Prep Life’s small event catering menu currently includes veggie and dip platters, sandwich platters (wraps, chicken salad, and pinwheels), as well as desert platters, hot appetizers, and soups. Appetizers like charcuterie—which some people call “fancy adult lunchables”—consists of meat and cheese boards and chocolate displays. Charcuterie are available in either small or large board size and individual boxes.

“During the COVID pandemic, my family started making a lot of smoothies at home. We found that we had to drive to Troy to get ones already made, and it dawned on me that we needed a closer smoothie shop. We had the location and the customers, so what was once just an idea turned into a business. The Meal Prep Life business was going so well that we outgrew our former location in Sidney Plaza and decided to expand. So, when we found this location, it was the perfect opportunity to add the smoothie business, to bring another healthy food option to the community,” Casiano said.

Smoothies include fun-sounding blends like “mango tango,” “day dreamer,” “joyful jamba,” and health-conscious ones like “health nut,” “max nutrition” and “peanut butter power.”

“The smoothies at Smoothie Life are made with all fresh fruit ingredients. We really worked hard to create recipes that are not only delicious but packed full of fresh fruits and other healthy ingredients, like protein powder, chia, flax, oats, and yogurt. Some smoothies contain fresh vegetables such as spinach, kale, carrot, and avocado,” Casiano said.

Of course, ice cream smoothies are also available for those who just want a sweet treat. Ice cream flavors include key lime pie, peanut butter cup, chocolate covered strawberry, and a flavor of the month.

Smoothie Life’s storefront case offers ready-to-go salads and other healthy items, and they plant to expand their daily menu items over the next few months.

October is Down’s Syndrome Awareness Month, and Smoothie Life is holding a fundraiser by selling Down’s Syndrome T-shirts. The numbers “3.21” are written on the T-shirts. It stands for three copies of chromosome 21, also known as trisomy. It’s the genetic cause for Down’s Syndrome. Proceeds from the shirts will be used to benefit Down’s Syndrome children and young adults in the community.

Influenced by the struggles their own daughter experienced, Julie and Joe sought out people with Down’s Syndrome to hire at Smoothie Life.

“We employ five people who have Down’s Syndrome and one person with autism,” said Casiano. “It’s our mission to provide an welcoming environment for differently-abled employees and make it a place where they can thrive.”

Julie Casiano can be reached by phone at 937-214-2816 or by email julie@themealpreplife.com. Use the QR code to order online, and join more than 6,000 members in their Facebook Meal Prep Life group.

Stevie Fuller, left, of Anna, gets help from Smoothie Life employee Rylie Edwards, of Sidney, bagging her salad on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Fuller also purchased a Beach Blender smoothie.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_DSC_7912.jpgStevie Fuller, left, of Anna, gets help from Smoothie Life employee Rylie Edwards, of Sidney, bagging her salad on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Fuller also purchased a Beach Blender smoothie.

Mixing smoothies at Smoothie Life are, front to back, Rylie Edwards, Brylee Casiano and Morgan Clark, all of Sidney. The three were working on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at the store located at 2050 West Michigan Street.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_DSC_7918.jpgMixing smoothies at Smoothie Life are, front to back, Rylie Edwards, Brylee Casiano and Morgan Clark, all of Sidney. The three were working on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at the store located at 2050 West Michigan Street. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Morgan Clark, of Sidney, measures out ingredients for a smoothie at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 West Michigan Street.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_DSC_7945.jpgMorgan Clark, of Sidney, measures out ingredients for a smoothie at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 West Michigan Street.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Morgan Clark, of Sidney, pours a freshly made smoothie into a cup at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 West Michigan Street.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_DSC_7973.jpgMorgan Clark, of Sidney, pours a freshly made smoothie into a cup at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 West Michigan Street.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_DSC_7984.jpgLuke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Barb Zumberger, left, tries to figure out what she wants while Ryle Edwards, both of Sidney, takes her order at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 West Michigan Street. Working in back is Morgan Clark, of Sidney.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_DSC_7999.jpgBarb Zumberger, left, tries to figure out what she wants while Ryle Edwards, both of Sidney, takes her order at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 West Michigan Street. Working in back is Morgan Clark, of Sidney.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Ryle Edwards, left, hands a smoothie to Barb Zumberger, both of Sidney, at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 W. Michigan St.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_DSC_8010.jpgRyle Edwards, left, hands a smoothie to Barb Zumberger, both of Sidney, at Smoothie Life on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The store is located at 2050 W. Michigan St. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

October is Down’s Syndrome Awareness Month. Gia Casiano sips a smoothie during Smoothie Life’s Down’s Syndrome fundraiser. The 3.21 stands for the trisomy (three copies) of chromosome 21 that results in Down’s Syndrome.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_daughter-with-downs-and-t-shirts.jpgOctober is Down’s Syndrome Awareness Month. Gia Casiano sips a smoothie during Smoothie Life’s Down’s Syndrome fundraiser. The 3.21 stands for the trisomy (three copies) of chromosome 21 that results in Down’s Syndrome. Courtesy photo

Use your smartphone to place an order.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2021/10/web1_QR-code.jpgUse your smartphone to place an order.Courtesy photo
Smoothie Life opens with Meal Prep Life

By Shannon Bohle

sbohle@aimmediamidwest.com