The other day, a NOURISH member who is a regular yoga student and massage client, stopped me, unsolicited, to tell me how important NOURISH is to him. That it is a place of health and healing that his body desperately needed and a place that continues to serve his body, mind, and spirit. He expressed his gratitude for us being here and for the hard work and dedication that Jocelyn and I give to NOURISH and our community. Needless to say, I was honored and inspired by his kind words and heartfelt appreciation.
Today, on NOURISH’s 7th anniversary, I’d like to take a moment and express our appreciation for the beautiful community that has grown in, around, and up from all that NOURISH has been, is, and is becoming. On March 5th, 2009, Jocelyn and I signed a lease in Wayne Shaffer’s office. On April 4th, 2009, NOURISH opened its doors for yoga classes, nutrition consultations, massage, and wellness product sales. I don’t know how familiar you are with construction timelines and commercial build-out, but less than 4 weeks to build walls, do electrical, paint and floors, is nearly unheard of. We owe great gratitude to our general contractor, Mel Dion of Cardinal Construction and her crew, and Tom Hartje painting for getting things done, not just quickly, but cleanly, and well.
During that time and for many months after we opened we were aided by the advice and counsel of Gil Spencer, Mike Moore, Denise Ryan, and Laurie Fried. They provided, each in their own way, voices of calm in a storm of uncertainty. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely road and it was important to have friends like these to be able to talk to.
Those of you who come to NOURISH know what a stellar job our reception team does. While that role has been transformed over the years by the many bright and friendly people who have assumed it, we are indebted to Katie Beden for the role she played as the very first NOURISH receptionist.
Long before hiring receptionists, forming a board of advisors, hiring contractors, or signing leases, we told 2 people about our plans to create a more integrated center of wellness where we encouraged people to make long term commitments to themselves, their health, and their wellness. We were and continue to be grateful for the support of yoga teachers Kate Robbins and Roxanne Gingery. While Kate no longer teaches at NOURISH, she was instrumental in helping initially get the program going. Roxanne is NOURISH’s longest standing employee. She was there with us from the beginning and continues to be here helping to NOURISH Santa Cruz with her enthusiasm and seemingly unending care.
While there were many needs that were met to get NOURISH up and running from people in these formal roles, there were many who helped NOURISH less formally. Like the day we rented the Uhaul and moved all of the props and some furniture from Om Room to NOURISH. Those of you who pitched in that day were just as crucial in making NOURISH happen.
Finally, many of you became NOURISH Members well before the last nail was hammered, the paint was dry, the props were placed, the people were hired, or the doors were open. It was your faith in us that propelled us forward during those challenging moments. Without your commitment, emotional and financial, we never could have gotten NOURISH off the ground, never would have been able to reach the tens of thousands we have, never would have made it here, to seven years, still going strong, still serving our community, still being honored and inspired by you.