Read more Superior business news in "Superior Happenings" in the April 30 Superior Telegram.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Strength Factory is on the move. The fitness center is crossing the street from the Superior Business Center to a new incubator space at 625 Hughitt Ave., the former Arrowhead Printing building.

The Superior Business Center has been a good place for the business to grow, owner Kelly Kellar said. The new spot offers more floor space to stretch out in, as well as unisex bathrooms, a private entrance and a shower.

"The space will be a lot more open so we'll be able to hold bigger classes," Kellar said.

Launched in 2016 following a successful Indiegogo online crowdfunding campaign, The Strength Factory is focused on building strong minds and bodies and promoting healthy living for everyone who walks in the door.

"The biggest thing we help them understand is there's no one size-fits-all for anybody and that we have to treat everyone individually because not everything works for everyone," Kellar said.

The Strength Factory offers kickboxing, kettlebells, weights and suspension training Monday through Saturday as well as specialized wellness programs.

The newest, a SOfit program for Special Olympics athletes and their unified partners, kicks off May 10. The 10-week program takes a holistic view of health, encompassing the four pillars of wellness: physical, emotional, social and nutritional.

Giving back to the community is important to Kellar, because the business was built with community support. She holds classes for past and current clients of the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse at The Strength Factory.

"We work with the women, kind of more health and wellness education and how fitness plays a role in your well-being," Kellar said.

She's also developing classes for women and families involved in the Women, Infants and Children nutritional program. A youth conditioning camp is planned for June.

Despite the challenges of being an entrepreneur, Kellar embraces it.

"This is a passion," she said. "I love what I do because I get to be with people. I get to help them."

An open house for the Strength Factory's new space is set for 1:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4, followed by an open house for the SOfit program from 3:30-5:30 p.m. featuring balloon artist Lauralloons. Giveaways from The Juice Pharm, Duluth Kombucha, Lake Superior Brewing, The Cupcake Lady-218 and Louren's Keep Collective will be served.

Growing strong businesses

The Strength Factory's move will allow one of Superior Business Center's anchor tenants, IHS Door Co., to expand.

Other businesses that have crossed the street to the new incubator space include Audio to Go and Duluth Superior Communications.

New tenants Bad Axe Tool Works and Habitat for Humanity also have spaces in the former Arrowhead Printing building.

According to Jim Caesar, manager of the Superior Business Center, the new incubator space is half full.

'We still have some light industrial space, probably just under 3,000 square feet, and then all of the office space is still open here," said Caesar, executive director of The Development Association.

The roughly 5,000 square feet of office space can be rented by the month, day or hour.

The recent decision by the city of Superior and Douglas County to place the business center under the Development Association's umbrella opened up the option to lease the second building, Caesar said. It also offered more opportunities to support new businesses.

"It was important for IHS to expand because they're one of three anchor tenants, and the anchor tenants allow us to do the incubation of the others. So that was strategic for us," Caesar said. "And then in addition to that, to be able to fulfill our mission as an incubator, we needed the space."

The Superior Business Center offers space at reasonable rates to new businesses. The rents are expected to rise as businesses grow, Caesar said, until they match market rates and the businesses can graduate out.

He encouraged local entrepreneurs to give the Development Association or Superior Business Center a call.

"If it's a newer business or a startup, we want to talk to them," Caesar said. "And we'd likely be a good starting point. We can then point them in the right direction."

If they need help with a business plan, he can connect them to the Small Business Development Center or UW-Extension. The Development Association has financing help available through the Douglas County Revolving Loan Fund and the Superior Business Center can help owners find a location.

"We always try to find a location for these businesses in the market," Caesar said. "We don't just automatically bring them in."

The Superior Business Center is also a good resource for graduated businesses or established businesses going through a rough patch.

"Don't just think you're done," Kellar said. "Definitely contact these guys."

The Strength Factory moved to the center in April of 2017 after struggling in its original space.

"We think her business is important; we want to help it to grow," Caesar said. "It was a situation where we could help her out and she could continue on."

Kellar was more blunt.

"He saved my butt," she said.

For more information, visit wegrowbiz.org or superiorbusinesscenter.com. Contact the Development Association at 715-392-4749, 218-310-9887 or jim@wegrowbiz.org, or the Superior Business Center at 715-718-2327 or jim@jccsduluth.com.