A pair of young entrepreneurs have joined the lineup at TBK Bank Sports Complex with new stores that promote healthy lifestyles.
Freshii, a new health-conscious restaurant, and Red's Threads, an athleisure boutique, have opened in the retail space near the Bettendorf sports complex.
Bettendorf native Jake Eikenberry and his wife, Courtney, are making their mark in small business with a new franchise of the Toronto, Canada-based Freshii. A few doors down, Nora Coyne-Logan, of Davenport, is sharing her passion for yoga with her new Red's Threads athleisure boutique.
Here's a closer look at the new entrepreneurs and their businesses:
Freshii, 5009 Competition Drive
Jake Eikenberry has been thinking about Freshii and his own business since his college days, having first discovered the fast, healthy restaurant brand while in Chicago.
After graduating from the University of Iowa in December 2012, he first put his health and human physiology degree to work as a personal trainer before taking a corporate job in sales. "It all led me back here to my roots," the Bettendorf High School grad said.
"For 10 years, I kept looking through business opportunities and Freshii kept popping up," he said.
The concept of providing healthy, convenient food, as well as the company's values, were a perfect match the couple's own beliefs. "I loved it from the beginning, and I had to sell her on it," Eikenberry said of Courtney, who is an elementary reading specialist for Muscatine schools. The couple lives in west Davenport.
The 1,500-square-foot, 38-seat restaurant, one of the largest in the chain, is only the second Freshii in Iowa — behind Cedar Falls. The company has restaurants in 17 countries.
Eikenberry said all the franchises have the same basic menus offering healthy salads, wraps bowls and burritos. "But we all have different ingredients to fit our culture."
The menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner entrees as well as a wide assortment of smoothies, juices and energy drinks and healthy snacks. Some of the cold-pressed juices include Green Genius, Renew, Recharge and Reset.
Courtney Eikenberry, a 2014 St. Ambrose University graduate and Oswego, Illinois native, said she's also always been health-minded and athletic like her husband. But with a family now — including 2-year-old son Emmett — to care for, she said eating healthy is not always easy. "We wanted something fast and healthy and had no options," she said, adding that was what made Freshii so attractive.
Freshii is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. It can be reached at 563-232-8054 or freshii.com.
Red's Threads, 5043 Competition Drive
Nora Coyne-Logan was not looking for a career change when she discovered an untapped retail market for high-end yoga and athletic wear.
Besides an office job, which she now does remotely, the Davenport woman has taught yoga part-time for the past 3 ½ years.
"I was constantly getting asked, 'Where do you get your yoga pants?'" she said, adding that she would direct her students online because many of the biggest brands were not sold in the Quad-Cities.
"I realized I need to open a store (to sell these brands) because we have nothing like this," she said in an interview last week.
Red's Threads — so named for her own long red hair — had its official opening Tuesday.
The boutique carries athleisure wear brands including Werkshop, Free People Movement, Alo, Vuori and Beyond Yoga. In addition to yoga clothing, the boutique offers leggings, shorts, biker shorts, joggers, tank tops, sweatshirts, sweaters, sports bras and more. It also will have a small line of men's workout clothing.
A first-time business owner, Coyne-Logan, 34, admits "it was scary."
"But I could not see myself working in an office the rest of my life," said Coyne-Logan, who graduated in 2005 from Northern Illinois University with a communications degree.
After securing a small business loan, she said, "I sunk every dime I had in savings to make it happen."
Thanks to her friends, she discovered a similar store in Dubuque and befriended its owner, Ann Butzier. "She's been a great resource to me. She's like a mentor. I worked up at her store, and it was a huge help."
She also has had a big assist from her fiance, Tim Loss, who offered his carpentry skills during his summer break as a math intervention teacher at Bettendorf Middle School to help her finish the space. He installed the new flooring, shelving and the clothing racks on the walls. Other racks are on wheels in case the business offers future yoga classes.
In fact, a yoga mat already sits by a floor mirror, where Coyne-Logan anticipates shoppers will get down into their favorite yoga pose when trying on the clothes or may want to learn a new pose.
Her store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Monday. It can be reached at 563-888-1133, redsthreadsqc.com or on Facebook and Instagram.
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