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Farming and fitness: Local health store owner creates first protein bar
Mid Valley Nutrition 2
After saying goodbye to the family farming operation, Gustin Scoto began Mid Valley Nutrition in his early 20s.

When Gustin Scoto left the family farm and decided to open up a sports nutrition store amidst the recession, his friends and family told him he was crazy.

“This was an idea that no one said would work,” said Scoto.

Five years later and Scoto’s store, Mid Valley Nutrition, is going strong and he’s revving up for his latest venture in the health industry: his own protein bar creation, Wheymonds.

Harnessing the nutrition in almonds — the main crop his family harvests in Merced — Scoto created Wheymonds by blending the nuts with whey protein for a nutritious on-the-go snack.

“I wanted to find something to continue to use both passions,” explained Scoto.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Wheymonds contains almonds coupled with 10 additional all natural ingredients that do not include sugar alcohols or gluten. With a variety of flavors including strawberry cheesecake and peanut butter cup, Wheymonds will be available for purchase at Mid Valley Nutrition next week for roughly $3 per bar.

The nutritional fitness store is located in the University Plaza on Geer Road, next door to the Turlock Fitness Club. With a multitude of pre and post workout protein powders, supplements, pills, bars, and more, Mid Valley Nutrition has become a one-stop shop for bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts alike. So how does Scoto remain competitive with fitness franchises and online sellers of similar products? He matches prices.

“No matter what your budget is I will get you product,” said Scoto. “Being 29 and in business I know that if you want to remain in business you have to be able to go with the flow.”

This means being adaptive, especially in the social media sphere, he said. With an Instagram account with nearly 1,200 followers Scoto is able to not only connect with clients, but also post products and deals.

“Instagram is huge in this industry,” said Scoto.

Locals can connect with Scoto on Instagram by searching for his handle: MidValleyNutrition.

Mid Valley Nutrition is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.