Business expands in first year

The Protein Place celebrates its first anniversary today. In that time, owner Kelly Perry has moved to a larger location downtown and opened two other stores in Humboldt and Fort Scott.



January 18, 2022 - 8:06 AM

Members of the Iola Area Chamber of Commerce celebrate a ribbon cutting for The Protein Place, which opened one year ago today but moved into a new location at 7 East Madison Ave. in December. Cutting the ribbon is operator Misti Kendrick. Her sister, Kelly Perry, owner of The Protein Place, is shown at her left, holding the bow. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

It’s been quite a year for Kelly Perry.

The Protein Place, a health supplement business she opened one year ago today, has moved into a larger location, and her sister came here to operate it. 

Not only that, she’s opened two other businesses, in Humboldt and Fort Scott.

The menu has expanded to include things like protein waffles, hot cocoa chocolate “bombs” and yogurt parfaits.

Soon, The Protein Place will start offering yoga classes. Perry hopes more fitness options follow.

“There’s definitely a change coming across the entire county,” she said. “I love it.”

THE PROTEIN Place began as a way to continue and share Perry’s health journey.

She had gastric bypass surgery and lost 188 pounds, but by January of 2021, she had gained back 80 pounds.

Perry used a protein health supplement, and opened her business on Jan. 18, 2021, as a way to sell the product in the form of teas and meal-replacement shakes. 

She lost those 80 pounds in five months. 

“I am a product of the product,” Perry said.

Her sister, Misti Kendrick, started driving to Iola from Topeka to help her run the business on weekends. In October, Kendrick took over as full-time operator for the Iola location.

Kendrick said she has lost about 40 pounds since she started using the products. 

“It’s something different,” Kendrick said of The Protein Place. “The teas are amazing but you still get results. There’s the health aspect but it’s also the atmosphere and definitely the energy.”

Misti Kendrick, center, serves a customer at The Protein Place on Monday afternoon.Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

AFTER A few months in business, Perry started to notice how many customers came from Humboldt.