Thursday, January 18, 2018
Business

Club, drinks bar at Hernando Loser are all about nutrition

SPRING HILL — Losing never tasted so good or served up so many rewards as at Hernando Loser, a nutrition club retailer that's enjoying a typical New Year's resolution rush to healthier eating.

Jenn Iacopelli could well wear a soda jerk's paper cap as she swishes together or whips up liquid concoctions of, not calorie busters, but nutrient-laden juices, teas and shakes for a steady stream of health-minded customers bellying up to the fountain's bar.

"Bellies" aren't evident, as the marquee would suggest. Herbalife, for which Iacopelli and her husband, Lenny, are independent distributors, was founded in 1980 with weight loss in mind. But it's evolved, Jenn said. "It's a nutrition company, but it does help people lose or gain weight."

"I'm a wellness wonk," added the bubbly devotee.

Hernando Loser is a member clubhouse cum drinks bar, recently for a by-invitation clientele, now spreading the healthy lifestyle word and welcoming the public in for a taste.

"We're working to grow," said Iacopelli, 37, who, with Lenny, searched out the company's products in 2009 to lose weight themselves and to find entrepreneurial careers.

"He lost 43 pounds," Jenn said of her husband, "and I lost 25 pounds in just a few weeks."

His construction company folded during the home-building bust; she was ready to graduate from her stay-at-home role.

Membership remains a company requirement for Herbalife partakers. The $5 member fee per visit includes a cup of aloe juice or green tea.

A first-time taster, squinting skeptically at the clear aloe drink, sipped cautiously and declared, "It's, um, really refreshing."

Longtime devotee Steve Foe of Brooksville stopped in for his regular $5 tea and followed it up with a pumpkin spice "wow shake," complete with light whipped cream crown, for $1 more.

"It makes you feel better," Foe said of the tea. The shake, protein added to thicken and fill the tummy, "for me, is like a snack," he noted. "I've never had a weight problem. I never eat anything that's not healthy."

While the aloe drink is billed as a digestive aid, the tea a fat burner and energizer, the protein shake a muscle builder, the emporium also serves up a "Healthy Meal" product that Iacopelli describes as a complete meal replacement. Delivered as a shake in 32 flavors, it contains the gamut of nutrients provided by a traditional solid meal, "like chicken, eggs, sweet potatoes, everything combined in one," she explained.

Whether a meal, protein shake or nutrition bars, flavors range through such temptations as banana caramel, mint chip, pina colada and others.

Dry mixes of each of the products are for sale at the emporium, priced according to various client ranks that include discount differentials. Although prices are not advertised, Iacopelli said, "One month of two meals per day runs less than $100. It's all budget friendly."

Membership also offers participation in fitness camps, weight-loss challenges, online coaching and online question-and-answer sessions. Lenny Iacopelli oversees the Internet and social media aspects of the distributorship.

Two nutrition coaches assist Jenn at the clubhouse/bar, "now that we're actively inviting people in," she said.

Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]

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