Coshocton, Ohio is the archetype of the small American town: full of hard-working, friendly people, built on a strong sense of community and accustomed to a quiet life. But over the last decade, the town has faced some serious hardships. Three out of the six factories that provided several jobs for the town had shut down, and another one is soon to close.

Unfortunately, Coshocton has not escaped a common combination of factors that increasingly impacts many neighborhoods: food deserts and food swamps – a combination of a lack of healthy food options, compounded by an overabundance of unhealthy choices, such as fast-food restaurants and convenience stores.

Sounds like an unlikely place for a nutrition club to blossom, right?

Well, a couple of Herbalife Nutrition independent distributors took the challenge and beat the odds. Dave and Rochelle are the owners of Healthy’s Coshocton, a place that has become an oasis for the locals. They offer nutritious shakes, fitness classes six days a week, access to nutrition education, better-for-you meal plans, and a judgment-free atmosphere for everyone.

Creating a Supportive Community Around Wellness

However varied the offerings, though, the success of Healthy’s Coshocton resides on one core value: social support. Trying to eat better and be more physically active can be hard because good habits are tough to establish, but having a supportive community around for guidance and encouragement makes a huge difference.

Bringing together people who have similar health and fitness goals contributes to a sense of community and a friendly, social environment among its members.

“We’re all different people, but when we come together at the nutrition club, an amazing atmosphere is created,” Dave said.

“If you treat people well and provide them with healthy options, you build a community of like-minded, positive people who are all cheering each other on – that is what we have done at Healthy’s Coshocton.”

People Are Not Determined by Their Environment

One might think that people in this small town would be less inclined to invest in nutritious alternatives because they are costly. But by inserting Healthy’s Coshocton into the community – through free sampling of Herbalife Nutrition products and no-charge fitness classes – and inviting people to try a healthy, active lifestyle, Dave and Rochelle have found that all that people need is a little motivation and support to get started.

“We want to build a relationship with our customers, helping them find whatever it is that makes them happy,” Rochelle said. “We want to help them find their purpose and break through whatever barrier it is that’s holding them back.”

Creating an Excuse-Free Environment

No time? No motivation? No experience? No excuses! Healthy’s Coshocton has every kind of fitness class to get people started, whether it is cardio drumming, fit camps, or pound fit – there is no charge for any of them.

They also hold weight-loss challenges, because accountability is such an important part of the process. And the list doesn’t stop there: they have shake parties, spa parties, sober karaoke, and a ton of activities that mix fitness, fun, and community.

Investing Back into the Community

Though the fitness classes are free, people can donate based on their desired contribution. Healthy’s Coshocton passes on that money to whatever facility they are using to host the classes.

So far, they have given generous donations to the Salvation Army and Hopewell School, an institute for the mentally disabled. Pictures of trips the Hopewell students have taken thanks to those donations are posted in Healthy’s Coshocton. This way, people have another reason beyond their personal wellness to keep fit: the reward to know that by doing so, they are helping those in need.

“We love our job because we get to help people change their life for the better,” Dave continued. “Whether it’s a healthier, more active lifestyle, nutrition, fitness or just putting a smile on their face for one day; there is no better feeling. It is amazing how the mindset of the town has evolved.”

The transformation is just beginning. Coshocton is home to the largest American Flag manufacturer, and honoring that American spirit, this town has risen over adversities and will continue to do so, finding new ways to reinvent itself through healthier and happier paths.