Diet Center Wants to Help Merrick Take the Pounds Off -

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For many people, the battle of the bulge is an everyday reality, as evidenced by the billions of dollars of revenue generated fitness industry each and every year.

One new business entering the fitness fray is Diet Center, national franchise that has been in business for 38 years. Rhonda Ockun, owner of the new Merrick franchise, recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by a plethora of local officials to mark the occasion of their grand opening.

Ockun is a franchise developer by trade, who helps people either develop their businesses into a franchise, or help them get involved with established franchises. That being the case, her decision to open her own Diet Center speaks volumes about her confidence in the chain.

"The reason I decided to select this particular franchise for myself is because I think people need to understand a different way of life for wellness and health," she said. "I believe in franchising and I believe in this particular product and service."

According to Ockun, clients are taught how to eat proper food while supplementing their diets with Diet Center's own brand of meal replacement products.

"We want help people get to a goal weight that they feel comfortable with," she said. "In so doing, they use our products and services, in addition to one-on-one coaching to help they get to that point."

While Diet Center focuses solely on the nutritional aspect of losing weight, they also recommend exercise in conjunction with healthy eating and are able to refer clients to qualified local trainers if need be.

Despite the risks of opening a new business in a shaky economy, Ockun feels that the fitness field is one of the few that manage to be recession-proof.

"I feel there's always a fear factor when people open up their own business," she said "However, dieting will always be one of the top businesses. People are always on a diet. Am I nervous? Not really. I'm very well-versed and if you meet people's expectations, they will refer you to their friends."

Legis. Dave Denenberg was one of the many elected officials who are throwing their weight behind Diet Center's grand opening.

"Elected officials should support those businesses that are investing in our community," he said. "If we're going to do anything to create jobs and economic opportunity while maintaining our suburban quality of life and reducing our tax burden, it's development of our local business areas. So, anything I can do to support the business community who are investing their dollars in Merrick, I will do."

Merrick Chamber of Commerce president Randy Shotland was also on hand to offer his full support to Diet Center.

"We, as Chamber members, want people to shop local," he said. "Why should I go to the Jenny Craig in Freeport when I can go to a place right here in Merrick? You still get the results, and results are what counts. Shop local, shop's as simple as that."

In the end, Ockun feels that anyone who feels they need assistance with their weight-loss goals should know that Diet Center is there to help.

"We run specials once a month, and these specials are to help people not think they are over-spending to help their health," she said. "For some reason, people don't want to be good to themselves – they do need private coaching. So I do feel that's a good thing about coming to Diet Center."

18 Oct, 2011

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