The name Shilstone in New Orleans is synonymous with health and wellness. Mackie Shilstone has helped train professional athletes such as 23-time Grand Slam tennis star Serena Williams and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning.
Now his son, Spencer Maxwell Shilstone, is looking to chart his own path with a new brand.
MaxWell Nutrition opened its first location at 2727 Prytania St. at The Rink on March 2. The 500 square foot store offers CBD products, protein powders, vitamins and other health products from various brands. All are from the United States.
Shilstone said all employees will need to be certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, a differentiator from national retailers such as GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe. A graduate of Metairie Park Country Day School and the University of Mississippi, Shilstone is also a NASM-certified nutrition and training coach.
Employees of Mackie’s former GNC franchise stores had to attend Mackie College, where they listened to lectures and read clinical research studies. Shilstone said the goal is to hire 10 employees over the next two years, from a store manager to a warehousing team.
“We are going to ensure that our employees have the strongest knowledge base that we can provide to help our customers with the best service,” he said.
The store’s website, maxwellnutrition.com, features articles, podcasts, cooking recipe videos, and products that are also available at its physical location. Nutrition coaching will be available as 12-week programs.
Shilstone was involved in the family business for a time, working as a sales associate and later as a general manager at his father’s former GNC stores. He declined to give details of his company’s investments and financial details.
It originated in 2019, when Shilstone was enrolled in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, which provides education, capital and support services to entrepreneurs. Shilstone said he began actively developing the business, website and product line when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.
The viral outbreak forced GNC into bankruptcy and Mackie Shilstone began selling its GNC franchise stores in the New Orleans area and Livingston Parish. There were nine GNC stores when Shilstone rose through the ranks to general manager in 2016.
Mackie Shilstone said he advised his son to focus on focus, intention and purpose for his new venture, and said he was happy to “sit on the sidelines and to encourage”.
“I referred him to a quote attributed to one of my former clients, Peyton Manning: ‘Some people wake up after dreaming of success. Others wake up and work hard at it,” he said.