CEDAR RAPIDS — When Sioux Falls, S.D.-headquartered Sanford Health agreed to open a franchise of its retail weight-loss business in Cedar Rapids, Victor Barillas signed on.
“The program was developed by doctors and researchers at Sanford Health,” said Barillas, who opened the Blairs Ferry Road NE location in November 2017. “Money goes back to Sanford Health for more research.”
Profile by Sanford’s retail weight loss centers operate much like other weight-loss programs in the industry. But one difference involves an option for nutrigenetics testing — a genetic profile is created using a swab from inside a customer’s cheek.
Profile uses those results to develop meal plans based on how one’s body burns carbohydrates.
With several company-owned stores in the Dakotas, Profile by Sanford began offering franchises in 2014. The Cedar Rapids store is part of a franchise group owned by Michelle Lounsbery of Sioux Falls.
Barillas said Profile by Sanford has 37 locations, with several more in development, including an Iowa City location. Company officials expect the number of stores to double within the next three years.
The company’s rapid growth has created new opportunities for employees such as Barillas. He is a 2016 graduate of Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D., with a degree in exercise science.
“Growing up in Sioux Falls, I already knew Sanford Health,” Barillas said.
The health care system has 45 hospitals and 289 clinics in nine states.
With so many new stores on the horizon, the company created a manager-in-training program in 2017, and Barillas was one of the first employees selected. He relocated to Eastern Iowa in October.
The Cedar Rapids store has five employees.
Barillas said one of his primary focuses at the new store has been to establish partnerships with local employers.
“Employees receive discounts on memberships, and employers benefit from having healthier, more productive employees,” he said.
Annual membership includes unlimited access to coaches, personalized meal plans, grocery lists and a scale with wireless technology for monitoring progress. Members receive discounts on the purchase of Profile meal replacement and grocery items.
l Know a business that’s been in operation for less than a year that could make for an interesting “Ground Floor”? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At a Glance
l Store manager: Victor Barillas
l Franchise owner: Michelle Lounsbery
l Business: Profile by Sanford
l Address: 1115 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE, Suite 200, Cedar Rapids
l Phone: (319) 774-4808
l Email: email@example.com
l Website: www.profileplan.net