|The importance of health hits home|
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Aug 28, 2012
Andretti Bain has been competing in athletics at a very high level for 12 years. He was a member of the country’s silver medal winning 1,600-meter relay team from the Beijing Olympic Games and knows all too well the importance of proper nutrition. But it hit home for him that he needed to spread the message of the importance of promoting a healthier Bahamas when a number of his family members were afflicted with diabetes, obesity and heart disease. He knew he had to make an effort to ensure that the Bahamian populace becomes more health conscious.
Bain, 26, and his wife, Cheryse, 25, have opened ‘Da Bahamian Dream’ Sports and Lifestyle Nutrition store, which carries products that are geared towards promoting and enhancing sports and lifestyle nutrition, with the view to educating Bahamians on proper nutrition. And he’s doing it by selling his products as affordably as possible.
“I’ve always had a problem finding affordable sports vitamins and supplements at home when training, so this store really fulfills the need that I had,” said Bain of the store which is into its fourth day of operation. “Besides fulfilling my personal needs, I have a lot of family members that are suffering with diabetes, obesity, heart disease and that’s a major concern for just about every family; so I’m just trying to make people a little more health conscious when it comes to their diet,” said the 400-meter runner.
The products he carries in the store are geared towards promoting and enhancing sports and lifestyle nutrition. And one of his main goals is to make athletes training at home more aware of the importance of proper sports nutrition.
He also wants to provide awareness with education as far as what’s legal and what’s illegal with supplements that athletes can take. At the check-out counter, he has posted a list of the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) banned substances list, which anyone can reference to feel confident with the products they purchase and that the product complies with international standards in terms of not being a banned substance.
As a sports and lifestyle nutrition center, Bain said they cater to more than just the athlete, but the everyday man.
They offer sports multi-vitamins, Opti-Men, Animal Pak, Opti-Women, creatine, amino acids, fish oil, flax seed oil, hair skin and nails vitamins, herbal and slimming teas, weight loss products, whey protein, caseins, energy formulas, muscle gainers and training products like the training sledge, training cones, jump ropes and resistance cords. At the store, they also offer healthy snack options to supplement what the store is about — low fat muffins, fruit, snacks and protein smoothies.
“It’s a one-stop shop for proper sports and lifestyle nutrition,” said Bain. “And I have my stamp of approval on every product that we carry in here. The store’s slogan is promoting a healthier Bahamas — not just through athletics, but in general. This is a health store where I want people to feel comfortable that they can come in here and everything in here will be geared towards promoting a healthier life for them,” he said.
And the reasoning behind the naming of the store — The Bahamian Dream is a moniker that Bain adopted seven years ago which he said shows his patriotism, and he describes himself as a dreamer. He believes that through following dreams people can fulfill their God-given purpose for their lives.
The son of a pharmacist said long term he wants to add a pharmaceutical dispensary as the business grows. In their first step to that goal they currently stock over the counter medications at the store which is located at the corner of Farrington Road and George Street.
“I’m extremely proud of my idea to offer a business that provides proper sports nutrition to athletes at a low cost which is extremely important, because sometimes places offer them at such a high price that they’re unaffordable, and to provide lifestyle choices to people in general,” he said.
Bain who has a number of business ideas under his belt was happy to get this first one off the ground, but he said it wasn’t something he could have done by himself and credits his wife, his family and his wife’s family with making his dream a reality in a two-month period.
“I told them in June after nationals … I think it was June 25 that I wanted to open one of my businesses and I had two months in which it do it because when I start training the first week in September, I don’t want to have to focus so much on the physical labor [associated with the store] and they said okay, let’s do it.” They did it. “Da Bahamian Dream” Sports and Lifestyle Nutrition opened to the public on Saturday.
Bain said the hardest thing to do was to find a secure place in a safe and comfortable environment, and that he wanted a storefront conveniently located close to the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, and in a safe and comfortable environment.
As he brings sports and lifestyle nutrition to the Bahamian public, Bain who competed sparingly since 2010 due to injuries that he sustained in the past has a goal of competing through the 2020 Olympics, which is why he said he gave himself the summer off to fully rehabilitate.
And although track and field is a major part of his life, he said that it is not his life, and that he’s now putting systems into place to ensure that he does not have to worry when it’s time to retire.
“A lot of athletes get into the problem where they spend such a long time as an athlete, and then when it’s time to retire, it’s hard to transition into life after track and field. So I’m just trying to ensure that I don’t have to worry about that. And, I’m a thinker — I have a master’s degree in business administration, and I’m currently working on a doctorate in education; so for me I have to do something else besides track and field. Track and field is my love, but I know there are other things I can do also,” he said. “And it has always been my dream to do something like this, but I thank God for having a wife who is so supportive. I came up with the idea right after nationals. I had the business plan in place and told her I have two months off from training, and this is the first time in about six or seven years that I have had this amount of time off from training and that I would use this time off to fully rest and fully heal, but also to get one of my businesses established. Once I said it to her, she said ‘Dretti if that is what you want to do, I fully support it.’ And from there we got going.”
Bain said his initial investment into “Da Bahamian Dream” Sports and Lifestyle Nutrition store took approximately $25,000-$30,000.
It’s a store his wife, Cheryse Bain, endorses, seeing that she too competed in sports at a very high level, and has played on the national volleyball team since she was 12 years old, rising through the ranks from a junior player to a senior player.
Looking at it from a volleyball player’s perspective, she said, “We have the talent, but other countries seem to outplay us at the end, and we realized the need for more sports nutrition and we’ve committed to this idea,” she said.
The store also offers a customer loyalty reward program that gives its members a five percent discount on all purchases excluding Top Up minutes, muffins and protein shakes. And every third Saturday in the month, the program’s customers receive a 15 percent discount.