South Dakota entrepreneur brings diversified nutrition business to his home state

Business expansion plans well underway with the purchase of Woonsocket facility

Brian Goertz, Terry Wieting, and Andrew Arhart, pictured left to right, are excited to bring jobs to the city of Woonsocket.

By Contributing Writer LaRue Gillespie and the Staff of the Sanborn Weekly Journal

Terry Wieting is not in the business of fame and fortune. He is, however, in the business of surrounding himself with good people and helping them and others succeed. 

The 42-year-old Huron resident, a third generation South Dakota farmer who has engaged in a number of successful business endeavors, recently became the strategic managing partner for Max Muscle Nutrition, a nutrition and supplement company known for its integrity and quality of products. The company, founded in southern California by a former professional football player, was looking to expand into this region.

“At the end of the day, my passion is to see people become successful,” Wieting said. “This was a great company with untapped potential that just needed some help taking its business to the next level. After meeting everyone, spending time researching the industry, and performing due diligence, I knew that we could do phenomenal things together.”

According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the supplement industry is booming with more than two-thirds of Americans taking dietary supplements and three-quarters of U.S. physicians recommending their patients take supplements. This industry contributes approximately $122 billion to the U.S. economy with more than 750,000 jobs nationwide. Wieting, realizing the endless possibilities this could mean for his home state, decided to move the company to South Dakota. 

Corporate offices and a modest warehouse are already operational in Sioux Falls with plans to expand and grow. Wieting’s purchase in January of the 144,000 square-foot building, formerly known as Van Dyke’s Taxidermy Supply off Highway 34 in Woonsocket, means jobs are coming to town.

“I have a personal mission to bring jobs to South Dakota,” said the father of three. “When the opportunity to purchase the Woonsocket facility opened up, we jumped at it because the quality of the workforce and the character of the people – not only in this community, but the surrounding areas – are second to none. I always say, ‘Surround yourself with good people and good things will happen.’”

One of those “good people” is Brian Goertz, 41, of Huron. Goertz is the Woonsocket facility’s new plant manager. His and Wieting’s children attend James Valley Christian School together and Goertz even worked at the plant when it was Van Dyke’s. The facility is currently being modified and retrofitted to support its new owner. Wieting and Goertz hope to be hiring a handful of positions by summer.

“Since I have worked down here before, I’m familiar with the work force and I know that the work ethic is really great,” said Goertz, whose wife, Shelly (Ogle), grew up in Woonsocket.

“We are excited about the opportunities this brings to Woonsocket and Sanborn County,” said Woonsocket Mayor Lindy Peterson. “We look forward to having a great relationship with them as they continue to grow and promote optimal nutrition worldwide.” 

Another one of the “good people” Wieting surrounds himself with is longtime close friend and strategic business partner, Andrew Arhart, 44, of Alpena. Arhart had been working on losing weight when he heard an ad for Max Muscle Nutrition on the radio, so he decided to stop by the Max Muscle Nutrition franchise while in Sioux Falls, which is where he met the owner, Jon Petersen. After several months of working with Peterson on Arhart’s weight loss and nutrition plan, the two got to know each other well, and started talking business. 

Peterson confided in Arhart that he and his business partner, Christopher Holman, were developing a unique software application for the nutrition industry, and they were looking for the right financial investor, one with vision and passion, and Arhart knew right away that Terry Wieting would be a good fit. 

Arhart, who is a fourth generation farmer and has served on multiple boards, set up a meeting for Wieting and Petersen. 

“Terry has a great intuitive business sense and he ‘got it’ right away,” Petersen said. “He is the only one who ever did.”

Wieting decided he wanted to get onboard but he wanted to invest in more than just the software application. He wanted to gain managing control of Max Muscle Nutrition and its franchises across the United States. Petersen set up a meeting for Wieting in California and the rest is history. 

“The timing was perfect for bringing in Terry as a managing partner,” said Joe Wells, founder of Max Muscle Nutrition. “He had an impressive resume´ for building strong businesses within the structure of a modern-day playing field.”

Wieting’s plans for the building in Woonsocket begin but do not end with warehousing and distributing top quality nutritional supplements in a safe, clean, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliant facility. In addition, the research and development team is looking to find ways to leverage South Dakota agricultural production, including whey, soybeans, honey, corn, sorghum and livestock – particularly whey, as it is a main ingredient found in protein powder. 

“It just makes common sense to figure out how to leverage South Dakota dairy,” Arhart said. “As we grow and diversify, we will look for partners to help create value-added agriculture for South Dakota and financial partners to expand our business further worldwide.”

Other goals on the horizon include partnering with South Dakota schools to provide nutritional education and coaching on healthier eating choices.

“With our software application, we plan to work with school districts across the state of South Dakota and in other states to help teach optimal nutrition and move their athletes, students and communities towards better health,” Wieting said. “We have already had some school districts reach out for our help and we haven’t even started promoting it yet.”

Wieting said he believes he is on the right path and that all of this happened for a reason.

“I’m not doing this for me. This is just a challenge, another problem to solve. Ultimately, I just want to see people have success. That’s what I get gratification from.”

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