Eating clean

(First published in the October 10, 2019 issue of City Pages)

180 Cuts Market has tapped a need for healthy, convenient and affordable meals


Taylor Keuler and Faith Thomas operate 180 Cuts Market, a mini cafe and take-out market focusing on full prepared healthy meals.

Faith Thomas and Taylor Keuler haven’t yet made a big splash about the 180 Cuts Market, located in the back of LIFT gym in Rib Mountain. They first wanted to get their business model just right: fully prepared healthy meals that are quick and easy to eat.

But word has been spreading about the small healthy food market at 2807 Rib Mountain Dr. That’s probably because it combines the both of best worlds: meals that are as easy as fast food, at a comparable price. “It’s a convenient, healthy way to get good food,” Keuler says.

180 Cuts Market opened nearly a year ago. Thomas and her husband, Eric Thomas, operate the three LIFT Gyms in town. Besides the Rib Mountain location (considered LIFT Central), there is LIFT North (1700 Hwy. 51) and the newer LIFT South (1468 Schofield Ave., co-located with Adventure Awaits CrossFit).

180 Cuts started as a meal delivery service by Eric’s uncle, with the idea that people would order multiple meal packages and keep them in their freezer. The concept was simple: a protein source with veggies to help athletes get fully-rounded nutrition in one, convenient package.

At 180 Cuts Market, those fully prepared frozen meals are now available individually, with a new selection of ingredients selected over time based on what seemed to be most popular. Options include meals such as salmon with riced cauliflower, meatballs with gluten-free pasta, or ground turkey with sweet potatoes and broccoli. They’ve even expanded to breakfast with, for example, a two-egg omelet with turkey sausage and broccoli. “For me personally, it can be hard to get my protein for the day,” Keuler says. “We want it to be convenient.”

Those meals are only part of the picture. Cauliflower-crust pizzas have been popular, Thomas says, and range from pepperoni to broccoli chicken alfredo. They also sell plain cauliflower crusts so someone can make pizzas to their own liking.

The market includes a smoothie bar, with smoothies using protein powder from the Thomas’ company, New Found Power. They also offer “bullet proof” (protein) coffee, and Bang energy drinks,  along with select protein bars. All the food is meant to have limited or no sugar or preservatives, Thomas says. The lack of sugar doesn’t seem to affect its taste of the smoothies, for instance, and people seem to be loving them. “A lot of people come in to work out on their lunch hour, and they don’t have time to eat, so we can make them a shake that has all the protein, carbs and fats they need,” Thomas says.

Thomas says they can also heat the prepared meals on site, for people to eat at the counter. The market can also work with dietary restrictions, and with some heads up can make specialty takeout meals, if ordered at least 10 at a time.

Right now, 180 Cuts Market is only in the Rib Mountain gym but could expand to its other facilities and perhaps even other gyms in the future, Thomas says. Right now, about half the market’s customers are members of the gym— many buy the meals after a workout—while the other half are customers who’ve simply heard about the market through their friends.