By Greg Ellison
(April 14, 2022) In the few months since opening in Ocean Pines, Oasis Nutrition owners Ben Tarnoff and Kenya Flores have quickly built up a roster of regular customers drawn in by healthy and affordable options.
The couple, who previously started a handful of Oasis franchises on the Eastern Shore, took over operations at the South Gate Shopping Center location in mid-January.
“When I started out, we were getting about two customers a day,” he said.
Along with meal-replacement shakes, Oasis Nutrition also offers protein coffees, metabolism-boosting teas, flavored aloe shots and collagen booster drinks.
After taking the reins, the duo recognized the need to market directly and quickly went about printing business cards with product pictures.
“I was just hunting down people in the parking lot and inviting them in for a free shake,” she said.
During the winter months, Tarnoff canvassed shopping venues within close proximity to Ocean Pines.
“Every single day I would be out talking to people until we got a core group of customers,” he said.
Once two to three dozen daily clients were on board, marketing efforts became self-sufficient.
“Word of mouth has been our best friend,” he said.
Tarnoff said confidence that the product line and personalized service would help the business thrive has been evidenced by 75 percent of sales attributable to recurring customers.
“That’s what we do is daily nutrition,” he said. “The nutrients are the things that the human body is supposed to get every day, so this becomes part of people’s routine and replaces their breakfast or lunch.”
Tarnoff said clients who forego their nutrition routine report feeling subpar when not consuming shakes.
“It’s not like a tropical smoothie where you go in when you feel like treating yourself,” he said.
Tarnoff became familiarized with Oasis Nutrition through Flores’ parents.
“Kenya’s parents have been doing this for 16 years,” he said.
After the pair began dating, Tarnoff was impressed upon learning of her parents’ track record of success in the Virginia Beach region.
“The more they talked … it was intriguing,” he said.
In short order the couple decided to chart the same course.
“We wanted to replicate their success in business and life,” he said.
Before long Tarnoff embraced the principals behind the Oasis Nutrition business model .
“The two most important things are the bond we build with the community and making healthy people,” he said.
Tarnoff said the goal is to develop friendships with customers, while helping to improve their diets.
“When you walk in the door, you’re treated like family,” he said.
Since January, the shake shop has witnessed sales grow precipitously.
“We’re now up to 80 a day [and] hope to double that in the summer,” he said.
Tarnoff was quick to credit supporting staff, including first hire in Ocean Pines Heather Brown, and the entire staff for getting the operation up to speed.
“They deserve probably more of the credit than we do,” he said.
To sum up why those unfamiliar with Oasis Nutrition should sample the offerings, Tarnoff said it boils down to a concise mantra.
“The simplest, best tasting and most affordable way to get healthy,” he said.
For more information call Oasis Nutrition at 443-614-7850 or visit their store at 11021 Nicholas Lane.