When Dean Esser went looking for a second location for his expanding weight loss and personal training business, his inquiry at a Corunna plaza proved fortuitous.
Turns out, the plaza is owned by none other than Dieter Decker, a Sarnia businessman who founded and built Herbal Magic, a weight loss franchise that flourished in the 1990s. When Decker sold it in 2003, Herbal Magic had 300 Canadian locations and was the largest weight loss enterprise in the country.
Decker listened to Esser’s business concept and became intrigued.
The two men were soon business partners, establishing a new franchisable weight loss venture they call EWyn (pronounced You Win) Studios International.
“I call myself the Colonel Sanders of weight loss,” laughs Decker, now 73. “Dean has the young blood and I have a lot of ideas. That makes us a good team to build a company.”
The first order of business was to rebrand the company, come up with a name and carefully look at what aspects of weight loss and fitness would be the most successful.
EWyn is also an acronym for Exactly What You Need. It’s been trademarked, along with a variety of EWyn products that include herbal supplements sold at the studios.
Since Esser and Decker formed the partnership, Esser’s original location in Petrolia has been rebranded into an EWyn weight loss studio. A corporate office has been established in Corunna at 446 Lyndoch St., and two other corporately owned locations have opened. One is in Sarnia and the other opened last week in Bright’s Grove at 2684 Lakeshore Rd.
In the past six months, locations in Owen Sound, St. Thomas and Strathroy have also been opened by franchisees, and Decker said three others are pending in Cambridge, Simcoe and Woodstock.
Esser, 34, brings six years as a personal trainer to the new corporation and he has competed in bodybuilding. But personal training is not the main focus of EWyn Studios.
Employees who are trained by the corporation about diet assess clients and the best way to lose two-to-five pounds a week. Their diet is based on foods from a grocery store. Various EWyn supplements approved by Health Canada are available to rapidly and safely lose extra pounds, adds Esser.
EWyn’s ideal clientele are women who want to lose 30 to 40 pounds and learn how to maintain their desired weight, said Decker.
“It’s a competitive business and many programs can get your weight down, but it’s staying down that’s the challenge,” he said. “Studies show that the longer you’re in a controlled environment, the more likely your weight will remain stable.”
Clients initially see their EWyn counsellor every day, then three to five times a week. The cost, on average, to lose 30 to 40 pounds is about $400 to $500, Esser said.
Personal training is also available at the Petrolia, Corunna and Sarnia locations. However, the new Bright’s Grove studio is smaller and concentrates on weight loss counselling.
“We don’t want to be everything to everyone,” said Decker. “Our emphasis is on weight loss and one-on-one service and communication with our clients.”
The Bright’s Grove EWyn Weight Loss Studio opened March 1 and can be reached by calling 519-908-9324.
Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or 226-932-0985.