Yoga, fitness studio opens as a co-op in Benton Harbor Arts District

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON HARBOR — Adrienne White and Luke Andresen have had a few sleepless nights getting The Collective ready for business.

The two teamed up to bring a new experience to the Benton Harbor Arts District by combining a yoga studio, fitness center and organic cafe.

The Collective is unlike any business in the area. Posted along 226 Territorial Road in Benton Harbor, the studio and the Rebel Cafe opened Friday.

White said the studio’s intent is to have a collaborative impact on the community as a whole. It works as a co-op buy-in.

“We just wanted to be part of a bigger thing,” she said. “We’re trying to keep in that theme of eclectic. We’ve had people come in to talk to us and suddenly they are in here painting our walls.”

The Collective will serve as a collection of individuals who want to offer any kind of services promoting a healthy lifestyle, White said. Andresen and White offer people an option to buy in as owners as a sort of Kickstarter.

“We have five owners right now, but we’re limiting it to 60,” White said. “We feel pretty good about that since we opened. Anyone who decides to buy in will get discounts at classes, memberships and at the cafe. We have some owners who stop by and want to help.”

Yoga and meditation classes are available with a message therapist and other healing practitioners who come and do workshops. In addition to yoga classes, The Collective offers strength training classes.

White’s business partner, Andresen, is ex-military having served in Afghanistan. During his time there, he also trained special forces.

Over his experiences, Andresen discovered a smarter way to work out, rather than punishing one’s body. White said Andresen is “a strength philosopher.”

White served as the coordinator for yoga and Pilates at the Renaissance Athletic Club and was looking into making a yoga program of her own.

“The more yoga we have in the world, the better the world is going to be,” White said. “We’re working together as a group. This is a community space. We eventually want to show movies here and provide space for people to rent for parties. I wanted to get more involved in Benton Harbor. Coming together seemed like the right time.”

Andresen and White will coordinate the main business with five teachers having classes to start out.

The Rebel Cafe will also be a big draw for health nuts.

“We both believe food can heal,” White said. “We want to offer it to the community and people who take classes. There will be organic juices, smoothies and coffees. We felt it was needed.”

All classes are listed online at www.rebelco-op.com. For more information, call The Collective at (269) 252-4040.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on July 5, 2016)

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