Jared

Educator

Leader

Entrepreneur

Jared

Educator

Leader

Entrepreneur

Public Relations

Lakeland company creates culture of wellness

Lakeland company creates culture of wellness

Jared Graybeal has a body as deep as some people are wide. He is solid — maybe negative 3 percent body fat — and, if he stands still enough, he legitimately looks like a Grecian bronze statue.

Jared Graybeal has a body as deep as some people are wide. He is solid — maybe negative 3 percent body fat — and, if he stands still enough, he legitimately looks like a Grecian bronze statue.

So it makes sense for him to be the co-founder, CEO and the face of SuperFit Foods, a Lakeland-based meal preparation company dedicated to improving the health and wellness of its clients.

After moving back to his hometown of Lakeland from Jacksonville, Graybeal, 26, was working as a trainer, but wanted something more.

“When I first moved back I was planning on opening a health club,” he says. “But the investor backed out.”

At the same time, Frank Tragesser, 35, was looking to branch out. Tragesser owns and runs the website AnabolicOutlaws and has a shop in Lakeland called LS Nutrition.

“I was trying to start a food prep company but I had the supplement company and was doing that at the same time,” Tragesser says. “I got spread too thin.”

One day at the gym, Tragesser and Graybeal got to talking.

“At first he thought that I wanted him to work for me and then I explained that I wanted him to partner,” Tragesser remembers. “I told him, ‘I’ll take care of the money and you can blow it up.’ ”

Tragesser, as president of SuperFit Foods, used a successful supplement company to acquire the proper capital while Graybeal got to work, using social media to build hype and a following in the area.

As clients rolled in, Graybeal realized they were quickly outgrowing the commissary kitchen they were operating out of, and brought his older brother, Josh, on board.

Josh, unhappy with the working conditions in the kitchen of a chain restaurant, jumped at the opportunity and helped SuperFit Foods get its very own kitchen, located in Mulberry, up and running.

“We butted heads at first,” Graybeal remembers. “But at this point we’ve got the best relationship we’ve had in our life.”

With a new kitchen and Josh filling the role of production manager, Graybeal continues to reach out and build the clientele, gathering team members as he goes along.

The SuperFit Family is now 14 strong, including Graybeal and Tragesser, running home deliveries in Lakeland alongside two meal pickup locations, with another 10 pickup spots in Jacksonville.

“All the guys here didn’t like where they were and now they love what they do,” Graybeal says. “They are all into fitness and this gives them a chance to combine fitness with their culinary skills.”

In January, Mike Jones left his job at Streamsong to bring his talents to SuperFit as executive chef.

Jones, who holds a degree in food science and nutrition from Kaiser, says SuperFit is the most unique food service operation he has ever worked for.

“On weekends we cook about a half-ton of food – that’s a lot to deal with,” he says while chopping endless potatoes. “And it’s not like normal cooking; you have to weigh everything out to the ounce, because that’s what we are promising people.”

Jones and Josh have worked together to expand the menu into a fully customizable array, with proteins ranging from salmon to steak, all kinds of vegetables and a plethora of beans among other options.

But the most important aspect for those trying to lose weight, maintain weight, or put on muscle, Graybeal says, is exact portion size and consistency, something Jones, along with Josh and the rest of the kitchen, have worked to get down to an exact science.

“At a restaurant you may order an 8-ounce steak and, yeah, it is 8 ounces before they cook it but by the time it gets to you it may be 6,” Josh said. “We weigh everything after cooking and it’s exactly on, every time.”

This is one of a number of things that keeps clients such as Bobby Snively coming back.

“I started eating SuperFit foods last early June,” Snively says. “I was already spending $7 or $8 a meal driving down to Wendy’s every day and feeling awful after every lunch. I would be at work and just be tired. I would get a full night’s rest and go to the gym, but because my diet was so poor, I just felt groggy all the time and grumpy.”

Since getting on a SuperFit regimen, Snively, who initially weighed 190, says he lost 20 pounds of fat before starting to build muscle, and is now sitting at 183 and feeling better than he has ever felt.

Testimonials like this are what keeps Graybeal going.

“I got in this business to change lives positively,” he says, but he knows he has to take his time, and hopes to see the business continue to grow organically.

“I consider myself patiently urgent,” he says. “When something comes up I jump on it but I am not in a rush.”

See full article written by Clifford Parody at The Ledger

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