On a brisk fall morning last October, the bright sound of fitness enthusiasts powering through their workouts rolled out the open windows of the new Shred Shop Wellness Complex and onto Erie Street.
The fitness centre, located across from Mezzo Ristorante, opened its front windows to the gym for the first time becoming the home of two new Via Italia businesses. Shred owner Sawyer Telegdy shares the overhauled building with Elevate Health Boutique, a budding new business that offers a range of services, including massage therapy and chiropractic care.
Together, Shred and Elevate offer a unique fitness and recovery service in one facility.
“The way we train in here, we help you become a better, stronger, easier-functioning pain-free human being,” Sawyer said.
Elevate and Shred
The partnership began while Shred was outgrowing its space in Windsor’s east end. Sawyer opened her first gym on Jefferson Boulevard near the E.C. Row Expressway in 2018 and in less than a year she already needed more room.
“We were bursting at the seams,” she said. “So, we went on the hunt.”
Working with her landlord, the two of them found the new, much larger space on Erie. Sawyer estimates they completed three months of renovations in about six weeks, working round the clock to get ready for the move.
The new space would expand the gym to 6,000 square feet, up from the 2,300 square feet, while also providing enough additional space to open the health boutique, a fundamental partnership for the type of fitness centre Sawyer envisioned.
She turned to Jessica Paterson, who is a registered massage therapist and who, at the time, was also wanting to start her own business in Windsor. Jessica enrolled in Sawyer’s fitness program, while Sawyer received massage therapy from Jessica.
So, when Sawyer needed a partner who could provide quality massage therapy to her gym members, she turned to Jessica for help.
“I was already looking to start my own business, so it was real easy for me,” Jessica said of the decision that took less than a week to make.
By October 2019, both entrepreneurs opened their doors inside the Erie Street complex. Business continues to skyrocket, Sawyer explained.
“Since we moved here, it’s the best thing we could have ever done. We have increased our membership by 300 per cent since last year,” she said from her gym on a chilly February afternoon.
Her clients are buying into more robust fitness programs. Sawyer has seen too many people frustrated with spending money on memberships and never seeing the results they need. Instead, she offers a more focused goal-oriented program.
“People are coming every day, learning it, living it, feeling it, and they see the change is invaluable,” Sawyer said.
Elevate has also been busy with people lining up to meet Jessica’s team of specialists, made up of chiropractors, aestheticians, massage therapists and registered social workers.
“It didn’t take us long,” she said of the need for five massage therapists to keep up. “It’s a good problem to have.”
The two companies offer a fitness and recovery program that knocks 20 per cent off the price of a membership if they’re using both services.
Welcome to Erie
The wellness complex is just one of several new businesses to open in the Erie Street neighbourhood in the past year, adding to the already diverse commercial centre, according to Filip Rocca, the Via Italia business improvement association president.
“That place has really added to the look and feel of the neighbourhood,” he said. “There’s a lot more foot traffic already and all those new visitors add so much to the overall experience of Via Italia.”
The feeling is certainly mutual, explained Sawyer, who takes groups of her members for runs throughout the neighbourhood.
“There’s so much life in this area that I didn’t even know existed,” she said. “Everyone is just really, really open to us being here. It’s absolutely great.”