FIU to open nutrition store in new parking garage

Whether it’s Crossfit, gym memberships or your occasional stroll down the street, there seems to be a rise in exercise and making right choices as to what students put in their bodies.

Coming in January, EXN Nutrition will open its first Miami store in the almost-finished Parking Garage 6.

The Broward-based company plans on opening up in one of the biggest universities in the country. “FIU has done so much for the city of Miami and it seemed like a great fit to be part of a community like that,” said EXN Nutrition Marketing Director Paul Cobon. “There’s a lot of universities down here [South Florida] but FIU was the one that we’ve had in mind.”

Gaining a spot in PG6 was more than simply paying a fee or being the first company to sign their name on the dotted line. The company had to apply and give the University reasons as to why they were fit to be a part of the university.

“It was a process we had to kinda apply for and submit a marketing package…pretty much an entire package why we deserved to be on of the stores on campus,” said Cobon.

The transition to Miami was one that Cobon said was a perfect fit for the company.

“We don’t have any stores in Miami yet so when the opportunity came to not only open a store in Miami but to open it on campus, we went right for it,” said Cobon.

Students won’t only get the benefit of getting easier access to their vitamins and supplements, but even have the chance of earning scholarships from the company. Francisco Bonilla believes FIU should work with bringing in healthier choices to campus, rather than opening up a Taco Bell or something that may not be as healthy.

“Last thing we need is another fast food joint,” said Bonilla. “What we do need is good food for the people to try to eat healthier and live better lives, not actually try to stuff their face.

According to Cobon, they are working with FIU to put together scholarships for students, as well as discounts in the form of a rewards program for anyone with a Panther ID—an advantage for students.

The discounts are still being fine-tuned.

Student athletes will also gain a possible advantage to EXN. Cobon is in the works with Athletics and the NCAA to sponsor athletes with supplements and sportswear. The company already sponsors athletes that compete in Crossfit events.

According to Cobon, 90 percent of their employees compete in one way or another and take their products, so consumers won’t be receiving tips and information from someone who does not know the product first hand.

Steve Kornbluth, who’s studying physical therapy major at FIU, has noticed several other stores with employees who don’t necessarily know what they are selling and understands that can make or break a nutrition store.

“A lot of times they go into these vitamin and nutrition stores and most of the people that work there don’t know what they’re talking about or what product people should be using or not be using,” Kornbluth said. “I would definitely go there if I knew the type of people I was going to talk to is going to give me correct advise on what I should be taking and how to take it.”

FIU has told EXN and Cobon that they have never passed their deadlines and he feels confident that they will stick to their word.

About the Author

Patrick Chalvire
: Radio Host for Panther Sports Talk Live. Assistant Sports Director for The Beacon. Majoring in Communication Arts. Sports fan and aspiring anchor.

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