Pacific Beach Healthy Hub shop owner Onochie Ani is on a mission to help people in San Diego “feel amazing, look amazing and have more energy to perform the regular things they do every day of their lives.”
To that point, Ani opened the shakes, smoothies, tea and coffee shop on Mission Boulevard in 2021, and since then has been offering PB residents and beach area visitors a variety of beverages that not only taste good but also keep their immune systems healthy, boost metabolism and provide energy that lasts.
Pacific Beach Healthy Hub menu items – all generally low in calories and high in nutrients, Ani said – include Chunky Monkey and Cinnamon Roll shakes, PB Sunrise and Pom Lemonade teas, specialty coffees, and add-ons like Vitamin C, collagen and probiotics.
“Our drinks, our products are amazing,” said Ani, a Los Angeles native who graduated from San Diego State University in 2016 with a B.S. in electrical engineering. “Our drinks have everything you need for micronutrients and macronutrients, and all of them fit different types of goals. And once you sip them, you know you want to come back.”
Ani was a standout football player and sprinter on the track and field team at Junipero Serra High in Gardena (class of 2011), but while attending SDSU, left his jersey and cleats behind to concentrate on studying. The rigorous, intense and focused daily workouts were left behind as Ani carried a heavy academic load at SDSU, where he was also a leader with the university’s African Student Union.
Focusing the bulk of his attention on scholarly endeavors led to him carrying a different kind of heavy load he didn’t expect – extra body weight.
“As an athlete, to go from four to five-plus days of strict training to not being forced to do that anymore… it took a toll,” Ani said. “I definitely still knew about exercise and what to do going to a gym, but the nutrition piece didn’t catch up with me. The ‘freshman 15’ was the ‘freshman 20’ for me, and that was real.”
Unhappy with the extra 20 pounds he put on — and motivated by before-and-after photographs his very fit older brother was sharing — Ani said he knew he had to learn quickly how to “stop going down an unhealthy lifestyle route.”
Ani said his brother introduced him to the basics of nutrition and told him more about the company making the products he championed: Herbalife (NYSE: HLF). Los Angeles-based Herbalife is a global health supplement company that has been around since 1980.
“It was an eye opener for me,” Ani said. “I saw how nutrition plays a big role in what your results look like.”
Ani said he lost 20 pounds and 6% of his body fat “doing the same workouts I had been doing,” but also by supplementing his diet with the Herbalife products. He said through the Herbalife supplements and continued workouts, he has gained 30 lbs. of muscle and has made it much easier to stay in shape.
Now Ani is using his knowledge about proper diets to create healthy, nutrient-dense drinks at Pacific Beach Healthy Hub.
‘Health’ is Everything
“One thing I’ve learned throughout my journey is no matter who you are, your health and lifestyle are everything,” Ani said. “Without them, you don’t really have anything and that once that goes downhill, it becomes your No. 1 priority.”
Ani said he has also learned that “sick care is more expensive than health care.”
Ani funded PB Healthy Hub without outside investors, but the store is not Ani’s only endeavor.
By early morning and day, he works as a product specialist for Verizon Wireless in Mira Mesa. Ani says he stays close to what is happening at the PB Healthy Hub, checking in with the employees and visiting the site several times a week in the late afternoons and on weekends.
He said it’s not necessarily a matter of balancing both jobs, but a matter of focusing on what is the priority at any given moment.
“One thing I have learned in Herbalife is constantly focus on personal development with any goal you’re going for,” he said. “With health, it’s 20% fitness and 80% nutrition, but 100% mindset. That 100% mindset is something we focus on the entire journey.”
Ani said that every day he listens to “something that keeps my mind focused on growth.”
“Tony Robbins says, ‘Progress equals happiness,’” Ani said. “So if I’m focusing on that growth, at least my mindset is on the right place, whether business is up or down.
He said he is looking to partner with others to open additional Healthy Hub locations throughout San Diego County. “My goal is to expand nutrition into different areas,” he said. “One thing about the beaches, you get a lot of traffic from other places. The goal is to create small pockets of community in other areas. That would be amazing.”