By RENÉE JEAN
One of Jacob DuCharme's favorite things about Complete Nutrition is its motto, "inspire life change."
"It's perfect for me," DuCharme said, recounting how helping a kid while working in Wichita ultimately led him here, to Garden City, where he is manager of Complete Nutrition's newest outlet at 2613 E. Kansas Ave.
At the time, DuCharme was working in a chiropractic office. He'd started talking to the foster parent of a high school dropout. Over time, he developed a good rapport with the young man. One day, he took a step that set them both on a new path in life. He invited him to the gym for a workout.
"So we set some goals for him in the gym, and he started accomplishing his goals," DuCharme said, "and that was so exciting."
After that success, DuCharme helped his new friend set some goals outside the gym as well, one of which was completing a GED. "Three months later, he had his GED, and that kind of like inspired me," DuCharme says. "We can help people change their lives simply by helping them set goals."
That, in a nutshell, is the whole driving force behind what Complete Nutrition hopes to offer in Garden City.
Store shelves sport a wide array of nutritional supplements and products to help people achieve their health and fitness goals. There are gallon-sized jugs of protein powders, L-carnitine-enhanced caffeinated drinks that claim to boost mental acuity and vitamins of all sorts and assortments.
All employees at the business must complete and pass courses through what they call "BCU," which offers employee only, online training modules on Complete Nutrition products and what they do for health and fitness.
They also tend to hire people with a background in health and fitness. Working there one Monday afternoon, for example, was Timothy Amo, who moved to Garden City intending to play football at Garden City Community College. He plans to pursue a two-year degree in health and fitness, and eventually, open his own fitness club.
Another of the employees, Saul McGonia, used to be into boxing.
"That kid knows everything about nutrition," DuCharme said. "He blew me away when he came in here and started comparing all these things, and he hadn't even applied yet."
The other quality DuCharme looks for when hiring is people who truly care and will be sensitive to a client's goals and needs.
"I think people can genuinely feel if they're being cared about," DuCharme said. "We start off by doing a free consultation to figure out what the client's goals are. We will offer meal tips and meal plans to help clients get to their goals more quickly."
"They give out lots of free samples, as well, to help pinpoint what will work best for each person. We fit a product to you and your lifestyle," DuCharme said.
That even includes perhaps less than healthy lifestyles, like weekend partying.
"We do have a pill that reduces hangovers," DuCharme said. "It's called the cheat pill."
DuCharme credits customer service and a scientific approach for Complete Nutrition's rapid growth during the past eight years.
"Our products are scientifically put together by doctors to give people the best possible results," he said.
Complete Nutrition has located in Garden City because the Wichita store already was receiving many orders from the area, DuCharme added. With a clientele already buying products from a distance, it was felt the store would have a running start in this market.
Store hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. The store has been open about three months, and already has several success stories, DuCharme said.
"Henry Gonzalez is the assistant manager at United Way, he lost like 15 pounds in the first three weeks of the CTS 360," DuCharme said. "We're seeing amazing results here in Garden City."