Michael Hader is bringing his love of nutrition and fitness back to his hometown.
Hader’s business, Glacier Nutrition and Tanning, opened in downtown Columbia Falls in November and Hader says he has seen great support from local customers and businesses.
“The community response has been good. It took people a little time to realize I am here and that we are open. Since then, it has taken off really well. The people at JIM have been great with helping me out and the community has been awesome,” he said.
A wrestling standout for the Wildcats in high school, Hader attended the University of Great Falls on a wrestling scholarship and was named an All-American as a redshirt freshman. Hader’s wrestling dreams were put on hold at age 22, when he was diagnosed with brain cancer. Through the chemotherapy and radiation therapy, Hader earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and helped the wrestling team with coaching duties in his senior season before moving back home to Columbia Falls.
“The cancer made me realize how important life and family is, so it made want to get back here to be closer to everybody,” he said.
Hader said he tried other jobs, but eventually decided to go into business for himself.
“I worked in the mill, but it just wasn’t my passion. I decided to strike out on my own and do something I love. That’s what got me started on this adventure,” Hader said. “I had the idea for this place for quite a while, but it was really the location that made me pull the trigger. Being right here next to JIM was too good of a spot to not do it.”
Hader said the idea for Glacier Nutrition and Tanning came from a similar store that he frequented while wrestling in Great Falls.
“When I wrestled in Great Falls in college, there was a place just like this over there, I thought it would be great if I could open up a similar place back home,” he said. “We have everything here from your lifting supplements to all natural vegan proteins and organic teas. And, of course, we offer tanning. The store in Great Falls had tanning, and I thought it would do well here, too. There are a lot of benefits from tanning. It helps the body get vitamin D and it can help people feel happier. There is not a lot of sun here in the winter, so tanning can be one way to help with that. The tanning has been doing very well so far.”
Along with supplements and tanning, the store also carries Teami products, which offer teas that help with everything from weight loss and cleansing to boosting daily energy.
As the store continues its second full month of operation, Hader says he hopes the community will come by to see what he has to offer.
“I’m just a local guy who came home and want to make a name for himself. I love this community. I grew up here and it means a lot me. I just want to help people out,” he said. “I used to be mister fitness and then I got knocked down about as far as you can when I was battling the brain cancer. I couldn’t even do two real push ups. I had to fight to build myself back up and taking the right nutrition really helped me do that. The supplements really helped me and I want others to be able to have that same experience.”