About the Biz
- Company Name: Abundant Health and Vitality Associates
- Who we talked with: Melody Covington MD, ABOM Diplomate – CEO/Medical Director
- Year established: 2016
- How to find them: www.abundanthealthvitality.com
- Socialize: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Get to know Abundant Health and Vitality Associates
Abundant Health and Vitality Associates is a personalized medical weight management clinic that is specially tailored for medical and corporate professionals. We provide high-quality weight management, personalized nutrition, meal replacement, food sensitivity testing, pre and post bariatric surgery weight management, and full body composition. This is all under the supervision of a board-certified physician who specializes in bariatric (or weight loss) medicine.
As a business owner, what resource organizations have helped you along the way, and how?
The American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) and the Obesity Medicine Association (OMA) have been invaluable resources in my journey to private practice. Unlike most physician organizations, they provide business assistance and tips on how to collaborate with our colleagues in primary and specialty care. Although a lot of my referrals are self-referrals from patients, I would not be as successful without referrals from primary care, gynecology, and orthopedic surgery. These providers in the community have not only strongly endorsed my services but they have helped build the foundation of my practice.
At what point did you decide you wanted to start a company like Abundant Health and Vitality Associates?
I started my first company as an internal medicine resident so it was somewhat a natural progression for me. I had a vision for how I wanted to deliver and practice medicine and this required more control of my schedule and full decision-making ability. I also wanted to spend more time with patients and provide them with services that did not exist in my previous establishments. I knew that I needed to create an environment conducive to practicing medicine on my own terms and the only option was for me to own the practice.
How long have you had your food products, and what inspired you to add this line of business?
The food products were a part of the business from the very beginning. Meal replacement has been around for over 25 years and has been shown to effectively provide weight loss without lean muscle loss (when done properly). I knew that patients needed a weight loss option for simplicity, food cravings, and an immediate jumpstart. The Meal Replacement Program is a structured plan that provides an alternative for those who are tired of grocery lists, grocery shopping, cooking, and meal planning and prepping. The program is physician supervised to ensure safe and effective weight loss results. I personally tasted and tested every meal product multiple times before deciding on the program. The program had to be nutritious, delicious, and provide variety; which our program does. I also love that although I am located in Charlotte, NC, the meal replacement program is national. Through our online “Do It Yourself” option, individuals on the other side of the United States can follow the meal program as well.
What advice would you give someone who wants to launch a food product line?
Do your research and let a lot of people taste test items as you are building the product line. In terms of research, the whey in our protein bars comes from one of the purest milk sources on the planet, New Zealand. I had no idea of this fact before I started researching protein and meal replacement. As for taste testing, remember that it’s not about you. For example, I absolutely HATE coconut but everyone in my family loves it, so I had to provide an option within the meal program for a coconut protein bar to meet this demand. If it were up to my taste buds everything would be chocolate but the meal program is less about me and more about the people who use the products to make their lives better.