BRANDON — All Rhonda Acosta wanted was a good night's sleep.
Never in her wildest dreams did she expect to turn the solution to her insomnia into a business opportunity.
"I had a sleeping problem and I tried several things to help me sleep and nothing worked," she said.
Then she recalled the improved health her mother gained from taking supplements and vitamins from InVite, a company based in Westbury, New York. Acosta thought that if InVite helped her mom improve her quality of life, it could help her.
"To me, these days you don't really find things that work," she said. "And within two weeks I felt the difference."
Jump ahead two years and Acosta convinced her husband, Askia, to fly to New York and investigate the possibility of becoming the InVite's first independent owners.
As of this summer, the local couple owns and operates InVite Health inside Westfield Brandon.
The company offers approximately 250 mostly in-house formulas developed by doctors and pharmacists, including Jerry Hickey and Amanda Williams, who discuss everything from vision health to core nutrition on their respective radio shows.
InVite Health offers individual vitamins and tinctures alongside hair care, skin care, toothpaste and mouthwash, as well as dozens of program bundles that cost an average of $50-$80 depending on what you are trying to counteract.
Askia sought answers for his stress and men's health issues as the Acostas planned for parenthood.
"It's amazing to me when I tell that story at gyms how many men suffer with sexual health, but men don't talk about it," said Askia, a technology and customer service consultant.
"It's just nutrient deficiencies in your body. There are no quick fixes. It's long-term. We wanted to have kids and it worked great for us. Two kids later (4 ½ and 6-month old daughters) and a store later, here we are."
InVite Health offers free consultation from nutrition experts on Tuesdays and some weekends along with phone support and radio shows on WHFS-AM 1010, the Money Talk station. The shows also stream live at invitehealth.com.
The couple will soon offer free in-store master classes on topics that will include women's health and inflammation.
Askia said most products are kept in dark black bottles to protect them from harmful UV rays and that Invite Health offers supplements without parabens, dyes, fillers, or genetically modified organisms.
"Everything here is holistic and all natural from the earth, non-GMO," he said. "Everything in here can only help you in your journey toward better health."
Westfield Brandon welcomes new stores
Westfield Brandon continues to grow and expand, announcing several new retail and restaurant partners have joined the lineup at the mall.
Carters/OshKosh, between center court and Macy's, offers shoppers clothing for toddlers and children.
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The Vapers Depot has opened near Books-A-Million.
Hoke Poke serves poke bowls near the food court.
More openings at the center are on tap for the fall. Mugs 'N Jugs Sports Bar soon will fill the spot outside the food court entrance that GrillSmith vacated in 2014.
Burgerim, a customizable burger joint offering various buns, sauces, patties and unconventional toppings, will join the food court lineup.
The Lego Store also is on tap. For additional information, visit westfield.com/brandon.
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