Thursday, July 10, 2014

New wellness center aims to shake up diets

September 19. 2013 11:20PM

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WILKES-BARRE — Tucked into the rear of the Bicentennial Building’s first floor is a new wellness center that opened this week. However, patrons won’t find pieces of exercise equipment, yoga mats or workout videos for sale; the business centers on drinks — three to be exact.

A three-pronged diet of aloe, green tea and a shake are touted as viable breakfast and lunch options for those people looking to avoid poor food choices while not finding themselves hungry between meals.

Operated by Dennis Machuca and his fiancee, Christina Caraballo, of Nanticoke, the business is called Nutrition Made Easy and it’s part of the retail operations of the Herbalife brand of products.

John Prokopovich, of Butler Township, has operated a Nutrition Made Easy in Hazleton and had been searching for more than a year for someone to set up shop in Wilkes-Barre. “We didn’t want to find just anyone, we wanted to find the right people,” Prokopovich said.

In Machuca and Caraballo he believes he found the perfect people to pitch what he calls “a lifestyle, not a diet.”

Caraballo has been using the system for six months and said she loves how it’s impacted her life.

That feeling of energy and lack of hunger are selling points, Caraballo said, noting that the location on Public Square was chosen because of the nearby foot traffic: a large number of college students, on-the-go-workers and people who use the nearby YMCA. Already this week, with no advertising other than word of mouth, Caraballo said business has been good and there’s already a small group of regulars who have been in each day.

The cost is $5 per visit, and there are take-home products available if customers choose to make their own products and use it on the weekends.

Caraballo said she sees a bright future with Herbalife, a global nutrition and weight management company that’s already selling in 89 countries. By entering the Wilkes-Barre market, she believes there is a big potential to not only make money but also change lives.

The store, across from Jordan Shoes inside the building at 15 Public Square, is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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