What do an ice cream shop and a fitness gym have in common? The two new businesses should be open – one in Carolina Forest and one in Forestbrook – by this time next month.
Dino Panos is opening Ocean Bay Creamery, a homemade ice cream business, in Unit 3 at 4036 River Oaks Drive in the Forest Village Shopping Center.
Patrick and Julia Flynn are opening Anytime Fitness at 3471 Belle Terre Blvd. in the Forestbrook Plaza.
Both businesses are expected to open mid-August.
Ocean Bay Creamery
Whether it involved breakfast, lunch or ice cream, Dino Panos has been in the food service business in one way or another most of his career.
“Food service is in our blood, we’ve done it for years,” he says, adding that one of the four children he and his wife Catie have is in the food service industry at Disney.
Panos is getting ready to open Ocean Bay Creamery with 16 flavors of homemade, high-quality ice cream in the Forest Village Shopping Center in just a few weeks.
“Ice cream is fun,” he says, “And almost nobody can be grumpy when they’re eating ice cream.”
That’s what makes interacting with his customers one of the best parts of the ice cream business.
The 1,200-square-foot shop will have several tables inside, and more outside, with a covered area for shade.
Panos, who will make the ice cream every day, says he’ll use “real ingredients.
“We’ve checked all the boxes and will have real sugar, real vanilla, real fat, all the things we’re not supposed to eat but that we all love.”
There will also be dairy-free and gluten-free choices, but he says, ““We won’t have sugar-free, we haven’t cracked that code yet.”
High-quality, homemade ice cream attracts a certain customer, “just like the people who appreciate good coffee,” he says, and adds, “It’s fun to make people happy, and they’re happy when they’re eating ice cream.”
Pano came to the area from New York when he was in 10th grade, and the Myrtle Beach High School graduate and his wife, who works in the solicitor’s office and at The Original Benjamin’s, live in the Forestbrook area.
Panos has owned South Beach Creamery, Eli’s Oceanfront Café and Don’s Pancake House, as well as a printing business.
“Ever since we got out of the ice cream business, I’ve had a hankering to get back in,” he says.
The businessman earned a food and beverage degree at Johnson & Wales University when it was in Charleston, and studied with ice cream guru Malcolm Stogo.
Through Stogo, he learned how to operate the Emery Thompson equipment that Ocean Bay Creamery will use.
Panos and his wife enjoy eating out, going to the movies, attending Doxa Church, and spending time with friends.
Matter of fact, a deciding factor to open Ocean Bay Creamery in Carolina Forest is that they have friends in just about every neighborhood.
Panos says the ice cream served at his business will be “unique to the area in the level of quality, with customer service a big part of what we do here.”
About the ice cream business, he says, “It’s not rocket science. You need to take care of people with good value and they’ll come back.”
“It’s not just another gym, it’s a coaching club,” says Patrick Flynn about Anytime Fitness, which he and his wife Julia will open in a couple weeks.
Every member gets a personal coach who’ll teach them everything they need to know, whether they’re novices to fitness or have been working out for years.
“We’re not just a facility where you come in and use the equipment, our members will have relationships with their coaches, and the owners will be here every day,” he says.
At 3471 Belle Terre Blvd. in Forestbrook, the franchise will be open 24/7, 365 days a year, and is one of 4,100 Anytime Fitness gyms in 50 countries.
After members are given an initial workout plan, that plan is reviewed and revamped if need be, every 45 days “for the life of that membership,” Flynn says.
The refrain he’s heard repeatedly from folks at gyms is that they don’t know how to work out, and how to best benefit from the equipment that’s available to them.
“If I see a member on a treadmill eight days in a row, I’m going to ask that person to let me show her something different.”
Precor cardio equipment, Concept 2 rowers, and Life Fitness elliptical machines will be used.
In addition, the members’ eating plans are reviewed, and if weight loss or weight gain is one of their goals, nutritional counseling is also provided.
Flynn has been in the fitness industry for 15 years, and was a fitness director at a North Myrtle Beach club.
Originally from Connecticut, he moved to the area when he was 8 years old, and is a Coastal Carolina University graduate.
He tagged along with his mother when he was a kid when she taught spinning classes at a local Y, and got hooked on fitness early.
Flynn and his wife Julia, a local, have a 10-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son.
The family enjoys activities outdoors that include hiking, horseback riding, bike riding, and the beach.
Julia Flynn, who’s also always had a passion for fitness says, “That was amplified when I met Patrick because he had a hard-core passion, and I wanted to help make his dream come alive.”
Until Anytime Fitness opens, there will be a tent sent up at its location for people to sign-up for membership.
The first 100 slots filled up, at a discounted rate, so quickly, the next 100 slots will be discounted also.
Those next 100 members can join for $33.99 a month, with the $99 enrollment fee waived.
Security is a high priority at Anytime Fitness, and the doors will be locked, and surveillance cameras in use, continuously.
A key fob will let members into the local club, and into any Fitness Anytime anywhere in the world.
Classes for children who attend with their member parents will be divided into age groups of 4-8, 9-14 and 15-17 years old.
“We want our adults to be comfortable, but we also want to incorporate the children,” Flynn says, adding that the club “has a family culture.”