Weight loss leading to big gains for brothers with ties to FergusPublished 12:14pm Monday, December 2, 2013
When his brother, Steve, approached him in 2010 about opening a weight-loss business using a spray product, Darren Fitch wanted to check the product out for himself first.
“I thought he was crazy,” Darren said of Steve’s belief in the weight-loss spray. “You don’t lose weight like that.”
So Darren Fitch, now 48, started using the spray. Within a few months, he had gone from 225 pounds to 185 and his doctors did not find any health problems as a result of the new regimen. Convinced of the product’s success, Darren Fitch went into business with his brother.
The two opened their first store, then called Spray Your Fat Away, in October 2010 in Fargo. Within a year, the Fargo business was thriving and the two opened a second location in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Now, the brothers have seven locations of what is now known as Healthy Systems USA, including shops in Iowa and Las Vegas. Steve Fitch owns three of the locations himself, including the Las Vegas store, while the two co-own the other four.
Although the brothers have never lived in
Fergus Falls, they have ties to the area. When they were growing up, their parents were divorced and they lived with their mother. However, their father Al Fitch was a Fergus Falls resident, so the two spent a lot of time in the town.
For Darren Fitch, the best part of the job is hearing the testimonials from customers who have seen similar success with the program as Darren Fitch himself.
“It almost brings tears to a guy’s eyes when people say, ‘I haven’t felt this great in ages, you’ve changed my life,’” Darren Fitch said.
Healthy Systems USA’s system is based on a spray used under the tongue which triggers the brain to release or metabolize about 2,000 calories of fat per day, according to the company’s website. After an initial three days of binging on high-calorie foods, people on the program eat between 600 and 800 calories a day while also using the spray to trick the brain into not feeling hunger.
Men lose about a pound a day on the program and women lose somewhere between 0.5 and 0.75 pounds a day, according to Darren Fitch.
Early on, the company did not do much online business, but as they have grown, and so to has this part of their company. Because many people want to keep their weight problems private, online sales give them an alternative to coming into the store in person, Darren Fitch said.
Working with his brother has been a painless experience for Darren Fitch, who worked in sales for 15 years before joining Steve Fitch in the weight-loss business.
“You have your differences, butI think he’s learned lot from me and I’ve learned a lot from him,” Darren Fitch said.
Expansion was possible for the company because of customer word-of-mouth and testimonials, Darren Fitch said. The company is aiming to open its next location in Rochester in the first few months of 2014.