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Wellness Center opens in downtown Manteca

Sierra High grads Reyna, Avila unveil Active Nutrition Manteca

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Wellness Center opens in downtown Manteca

For months, Sierra High graduates Amanda Reyna and Alex Avila have run Active Nutrition Manteca in the open spaces around town. On Wednesday, they celebrate the grand opening of the health and well...

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/


POSTED July 23, 2013 5:55 p.m.

Amanda Reyna made a promise to the 4-year-old clinging to her leg.

“I hit a point where I was frustrated with my life, unhappy with my body and not spending a lot of time with my family,” said Reyna, embracing her ponytailed daughter Marinah.

Alex Avila had a vision.

For months, the Sierra High graduates and local fitness instructors hatched a plan to satisfy both their professional needs.

On Wednesday, they’ll unveil that plan to the rest of the world with the grand opening of Active Nutrition Manteca, a health and wellness center in the heart of downtown Manteca.

Active Nutrition is located at 159 West Yosemite Avenue, a site formerly occupied by Fit Factory, Yoga Soul and Jiu-Jitsu and the Christian Bookstore.

The facility is long and spacious, allowing Reyna and Avila’s unique business model to take shape.

The health and wellness center is believed to be the first of its kind in Manteca. Active Nutrition combines the atmosphere of juice/coffee shop with the intensity and focus of a fitness facility.

There are several memberships levels, including one-day membership for $7. The fee includes a workout and Herbalife shake.

The facility is divided by a black curtain, separating the lobby, counseling center and juice bar from the workout area.

Beyond the curtain lies a group area framed by hardwood floors and a 30-foot long mirror.

Classes will include, but are not limited to, Hip-Hop Abs, Insanity and yoga.

Avila, a longtime personal trainer in the Manteca area, will conduct his extreme bootcamp, Olympic weight lifting and CrossFit-style workouts in the back corner.

Both Reyna and Avila are committed to the future of Active Nutrition – and the revitalization of downtown.

They hope their center will attract more stay-and-play businesses to that corridor, joining forces with a multitude of existing salons and niche shops.

“We want to takeover downtown and be the ones you go to for nutrition and wellness,” Avila said. “We want to be your counselors, your trainers and your nutritionists – the ultimate triple threat.”

Each has made a sizable investment.

Reyna quit a job in the financial sector to pursue a career in fitness.

Inspired by the results she witnessed while using Herbalife products, the former Sierra High cheer captain and Stockton Lightning dancer left Wells Fargo Dealer Services in the Bay Area to start an Active Nutrition franchise.

The opportunity, she said, affords her more time with Marinah and allows her to set a positive example when it comes to healthy living.

“I’ve put everything I have into this and right now I have no regrets,” she said. “That’s not my identity anymore; now it’s about making a new identity.”

Avila has been a fixture in Manteca’s fitness scene for years. Like Reyna, he was recruited to Active Nutrition by fellow Sierra High graduate Leila Jelloule, who has been instrumental in building a similar shop and following in Los Angeles.

They launched the Manteca movement in March. Until now, the two – with Jelloule’s mentorship – have been training clients in Manteca’s open spaces. Dutra Family Park on Wednesdays. The parking lot at the Boys & Girls Club on Saturdays. They traveled with their equipment and post-workout recovery shakes, sharing their vision of a permanent location with anyone that would listen.

On Wednesday, that vision is realized.

To contact James Burns, e-mail jburns@mantecabulletin.com.

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