Upcycle, Yogawood Open in The Grant Building January 22


Formerly Berry Tile and Carpet, the historic storefront at 716 Haddon Avenue will welcome four wellness-based businesses—Yogawood, Upcycle, Krista Clear, and Light Now—by its February 3 grand opening. 

By Matt Skoufalos | January 19, 2018

Kim Oberg outside The Grant Building in Collingswood. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

It’s taken more than a year and a whole lot of patience to move a few hundred feet up the block, but for patrons of Upcycle and Yogawood, the wait ends Monday.

That’s when Kim Oberg, who owns both businesses, opens the doors to The Grant Building, her new, downtown wellness center at 716 Haddon Avenue in Collingswood.

Oberg spent that time overhauling The Grant Building (formerly Berry Tile and Carpet) into a purpose-built studio that will house Upcycle, Yogawood, the Krista Clear bodywork practice, and Light Now, a juice bar and café that Oberg co-founded with personal trainer Jake Goodman.

Light Now won’t be online when the building opens, but Oberg expects it will be serving juices and smoothies by a February 3 grand opening.

Even without food service, however, the café will function as a receiving space for those attending classes and those who want to linger in a welcoming atmosphere. Light Now will offer free Wi-Fi service for patrons, and its subway tile-and-wood countertop, built at The Factory in Collingswood, features USB charging stations.

“It’s a healthy hangout area, and you’ll feel welcomed here,” Oberg said.

Hallways in The Grant Building feature exposed brick and hardwood flooring. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

A sense of welcome is one of the chief aims of The Grant Building, which has been transformed from a big-box flooring store into a softly lit, multi-use health and wellness center.

Exposed brick, matte finish flooring, and sweeping, white walls flow throughout.

Oberg retained its high ceilings, the original front doors, and a handful of hallway lighting fixtures; the rest, including the roof, is brand new.

The Grant Building is the third from which Upcycle and Yogawood will have operated in the past three years, but the first to have been designed for those uses from the ground up.

Its centralized HVAC allows individual rooms to be temperature controlled.

The louder, higher-energy café and cycling studio are situated in the front of the building; the quieter yoga and bodywork practices are in the back, down a long hallway, and through a noise-limiting barrier door. Between them are dual bathrooms, showers, storage lockers, and water fountains.

Most importantly, Oberg said the new building will support expanded class schedules and a growing client load.

“The original reason I was getting a bigger building was because Upcycle was growing out of its first studio very quickly,” she said. “We’re going to be adding more into the schedule as we go.”

The new Yogawood studio space at The Grant Building. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

In addition to yoga and cycling, The Grant Building will facilitate combination cycle-and-flow classes, barre classes, and special offerings that require a larger footprint.

Patrons can drop into individual classes, purchase multi-class packs and unlimited-use monthly memberships, or reduced-rate six- and 12-month memberships, which also include retail discounts and members-only social events.

“It’s like Cheers, but good for you,” Upcycle instructor Nicole Graziano said.

“You can meet with like-minded people who are not in it for just show,” she said. “They’re in it to become better people; make solid connections.”

“It’s just what I needed when I needed it,” Graziano said. “I think that can give the same thing to other people.”

Goodman said he hopes Light Now can be an entry point into conversations about quick and healthy meals made with “things you know” and “vegetables that you don’t feel like cutting up yourself.”

Jake Goodman at the counter of the Light Now juice bar. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

“You would eat healthier if it was available, and that’s what we’re making available,” Goodman said; “something that you know all the ingredients.”

Light Now will feature mostly vegan and vegetarian food options, with some sensitivity to dietary restrictions (sunflower butter, almond milk) as well as supplement boosts.

The café will offer coffee from Philadelphia-based Concave Coffee Roasters, cold-pressed juice from Rijuice, and a grab-and-go refrigerator with prepared foods.

Connective tissue therapist Krista Sassani, who offers myofascial release and rehabilitative therapy through her Krista Clear bodywork practice, said locating her offices in The Grant Building helps raise the visibility of her work.

Krista Sassani performs myofascial release at her Krista Clear bodywork practice. Credit: Bill DiCecca.

“I love the fact that I’m on the main street because I feel it legitimizes my profession,” Sassani said.

“My practice is about getting the body to function in space and as a whole unit; for people to be able to feel like themselves and not like a list of symptoms,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to being in the space because there’s a focus on the whole body: yoga, spin, barre, and the dietary component,” Sassani said.

She expects that the integrative design of The Grant Building will drive crossover among its various offerings. By fostering confidence in their bodies, Sassani believes clients of each business will be more comfortable branching out into different modalities.

“My biggest wish is that this space is somewhere people can come to work on themselves while also feeling accepted and safe exactly as they are today,” Sassani said. “It gives them a place to be stable where they can be free enough to get curious about other things.

“If they can feel free and comfortable to do yoga, maybe they can extend their awareness out to do spin, or to do bodywork,” she said. “There’s a knowing, a familiarity, when people feel safe. When you know the lay of the land, you’re far more likely to feel able.”

The Grant Building opens to the public Monday, January 22. Normal hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday; Yogawood and Upcycle class times may run earlier or later. Krista Clear and Light Now will open February 3.

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