Kelsey Johnson has always had an interest in food. She began her food journey by participating in her first cooking competition when she was 8 years old, and now she runs her own business, 605 Dietitian, LLC, founded in 2018. After a battle with nutrition and weight in high school when she says she lost 80-plus pounds, she attended South Dakota State University and found dietetics. She finished out her education journey at Iowa State University, and now focuses on her business motto of “empowering real food first.”
605 got a look into Johnson’s life outside of her field as she shares about camping, coffee, and her favorite snacks.
I enjoy trying different varieties of fruits and vegetables that South Dakota farmers have to offer at local farmers’ markets. It’s great trying out new varieties of produce like heirloom tomatoes, as well as checking out homemade jams, jellies, and apple butters. I love the Brookings Farmers’ Market, the Market at the Meridian in Yankton, and Miller Farmers Market, just to name a few.
The Great Outdoors
I love to spend time camping at the South Dakota State Fair or any state parks in South Dakota. I grew up camping in the Black Hills nearly every summer, so I enjoy hiking trails, riding my bike, fishing, and relaxing by the campfire.
Small Town Treasures
[Another thing I love is] trying new, local, small-town coffee shops—like a latte. I love all types of small coffee shops. Some of the state’s smallest towns have the greatest treasures. My go-to drink is an iced coffee with almond milk, and two pumps of caramel flavor if I’m feeling festive.
[I spend some time] watching South Dakota State University and my hometown football team, Miller Rustlers, during the fall. Tailgating and catching up with friends and family adds to that.
Stand for Small Businesses
It’s important to support local small clothing businesses and women entrepreneurs in our state, such as The White Poppy Boutique, CCXO, Head 2 Heels, and so many more. You can even catch me modeling from time to time for a local clothing boutique. I have modeled for Head 2 Heels in Yankton and even co-hosted a pop-up shopping event, offering healthy recipes to customers shopping.
5 Random Facts
+ My business model is focused around Real Food First nutrition, encouraging everyone to focus their meals and snacks around how God intended our food to be. I love sharing my nutrition passion with others and connecting in person and on social media.
+ After graduating college when starting my business, I was a substitute teacher for sixth grade to help pay off my student loans. I also was an Accounting [Supplemental Instruction] Leader during college.
+ I competed in the South Dakota State Fair Beef Cookoff in 2009 with my Beef Wellington recipe and was a prize winner.
+ I’ll be getting married on 6-05 (June 5) this year as the 605 Dietitian in [the 605 area code] and didn’t even realize [the coincidence] until after our wedding date was set.
+ I started my business with savings bonds from my grandfather, so I didn’t have to take out a small business loan. My business was started in my parents’ living room on a card table they received as a wedding gift.
Cruising Down the River
I love boating on the Missouri River with my fiancé, Nick, and his family during the summer months, cruising and relaxing on the s and bars.
Fall is my favorite season in South Dakota, and I love being able to be outside at apple orchards. Who doesn’t love homemade apple desserts?
I started taste-testing food products of local, family-owned businesses in South Dakota on my social media with Nick. We love tasting what this great state has to offer and supporting other small businesses in the 605.
FOLLOW THE 605 DIETITIAN
My hometown of Miller is home to one of the few drive-in movie theaters left in the state. This was one of my favorite memories growing up in a small town.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Getting outdoors and getting in my 30 minutes of movement a day is one of my favorite parts of the day. South Dakota has the best scenery for walking and running, from the Black Hills to the Sioux Falls bike path to the gravel roads near my grandparents’ farm.