Investors join Fitlife Foods to take business to next level

Fitlife Foods area manager Diana Homan organizes shelves at the St. Petersburg location. Founder David Osterweil has brought in new investors to take the business to the next level: Osterweil says a deal with investors will help add locations in the Tampa Bay area and expand to other markets.

DIRK SHADD | Times (2013)

Fitlife Foods area manager Diana Homan organizes shelves at the St. Petersburg location. Founder David Osterweil has brought in new investors to take the business to the next level: Osterweil says a deal with investors will help add locations in the Tampa Bay area and expand to other markets.

TAMPA — Three years after founding Fitlife Foods, a prepared meals takeout store, David Osterweil has brought in new investors to take the business to the next level.

Osterweil said Friday that he has finalized a deal with investors to add locations in the Tampa Bay area and expand to other markets. Terms were not released, but he will retain majority ownership of the Tampa-based company, which has five locations and a sixth planned for Brandon.

The investors are Stuart and Tyler Lasher of Quantum Capital Partners, Keenan and Hannibal Baldwin of Baldwin Beach Capital, Bob Gries of Gries Investment Fund and Bahram Akradi of Life Time Fitness in Minnesota. Two have ties to the local gym community, a key client base for Fitlife. Akradi is opening a fitness center at International Plaza in April. Stuart Lasher was chairman of Lifestyle Family Fitness, which closed.

A former business development director for Outback Steakhouse, now Bloomin' Brands, Osterweil said the investors' capital and expertise will help further Fitlife's mission.

"People are time starved, and fast-food is not the answer,'' he said. "Our goal is to help them save time, gain energy and manage their weight.''

Fitlife sells prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner meals that come in different sizes and calorie counts. Entrees ranging from Feel Good Chicken Tenders to Firecracker Shrimp cost $6 to $12 per meal.

Fitlife opened its first location in 2011 on S Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa and has added locations in Carrollwood, Countryside, South Tampa and St. Petersburg. Its first franchise-owned store is opening this summer in Brandon, off Causeway Boulevard.

Investors join Fitlife Foods to take business to next level 02/21/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 21, 2014 7:30pm]

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