By KAYLA LANGUERRE-LEWIS and ALLIE SHINSKEY URI Journalism students THE DRIPBaR, located in the Summit Park at 250 Centerville Road, a Warwick-based IV therapy company founded in 2016, plans to expand to 1,000 locations nationwide, but will first start
THE DRIPBaR, located in the Summit Park at 250 Centerville Road, a Warwick-based IV therapy company founded in 2016, plans to expand to 1,000 locations nationwide, but will first start by healing here.
CEO Shannon Petteruti founded the company following an experience with a cancer patient. In 2014, Petteruti, a nurse practitioner, took on the position of CEO of Intellectual Medicine, a functional medicine practice in Warwick, out of which she founded THE DRIPBaR. That same year, an Internal Medicine cancer patient traveled to Canada and received IV therapy and after successful treatments, Petteruti looked into what she calls “health support drips”.
What is IV therapy, exactly? According to a press release, “intravenous therapy is defined as the administration of delivering nutrients and hydration directly into the bloodstream for immediate absorption and use by the body.”
According to the company’s website, THE DRIPBaR offers two categories of drips: lifestyle drips and health support drips. The 14 lifestyle drips serve to help a person achieve specific fitness and wellness goals. Some examples include the The Firm, which is said to help you look and feel younger, the Soother, which aims to relieve stress, and the Jet Setter, which prevents jet lag and free radicals from attacking the body.
The five health support drips all aim to keep people as healthy as possible. Notably, the High C drip is a high dose of Vitamin C that helps cancer patients in remission. The DRIPBaR also offers seven drip shots as a quick boost for those who don't have the time for a full infusion.
While there’s currently only one location in Warwick, by the end of the year, Ben Crosbie, THE DRIPBaRs chief development officer, said the company has plans to open 12 new locations in early 2021, including DRIPBaRs in Newport, Tampa, Jacksonville, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Colorado, Utah, and Virginia. 22 additional locations are set to open between April and September 2021. According to Petteruti, the goal is to open 1,000 locations nationwide, and launch their international franchises by 2022.
“So then people see the business model and my experience, they know that it’s a real franchise, it’s a real system,” Crosbie said in an interview. “And then they meet Shannon and understand that she put in all the time and energy and experience. So they recognize this as, yes, it’s an emerging franchise company, but it’s not a startup.”
In an interview with Petteruti, she explained that she’s seen an up tick in IV therapy franchises opening up in the last few years, but especially during the pandemic. “The franchise world is interesting, it’s like it’s own kind of system. All of a sudden, back in March, you had no gyms. Beauty things, like salons, were not available any more. But people still wanted to open or create a business, so this opened up a new arena to us.”
The therapy itself is considered supportative to medical treatments, and not covered by insurance.
Prices for the IM drip shots range from $25 to $65. Most lifestyle drips are between $175 and $195, with the least expensive being $135, and the most, $350.
Crosbie said he sees THE DRIPBaR’s treatments as an investment that people are making weekly, or even daily.
“People really are focused on their health and being proactive and preventive,” Petteruti said. “They just want to take better care of themselves.”
Petteruti said she’s seen an increase of patients during this pandemic. “We are busier, I think people now are kind of looking to be more proactive in their health and looking to make their immune systems healthier.”
One of IV therapy’s biggest components is boosting the immune system. The most popular drip at DRIPBaR is called the Shield, which works to fight off the common cold, viruses, disease and infections. In an interview, Petteruti explained the differences between taking vitamins orally, and taking vitamins via IV. “When you take something orally, your body only absorbs 10 to 30 percent. When you take something with an IV, your body absorbs 100 percent in minutes.”
Nurses, nurse practitioners, or doctors, start the infusions and then monitor the patients. While there are many different treatments for different ailments, THE DRIPBaR has used a drip of high-dose Vitamin C for cancer patients. Crosbie said, when talking to clients in remission, they say they worry daily about going back to chemotherapy treatments.
“So they are also using high-dose Vitamin C as a rationalization of saying hey, I’m killing it before it’s showing up so I’m living a more sane life during that time,” Crosbie said. “So I think that’s really neat to be able to offer that option to people.
Although IV therapy may not yet be familiar to many people, the company’s objective is to support a long healthy vital lifespan that is resilient to disease.
“Whenever there’s something new, people are always skeptical. Does this work? Is this a waste of money?” Petteruti said. “And I think it’s those who understand how it works and why it works who choose to come and try it and then they see the benefit themselves. You have to put the knowledge out and the information."