We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Ortner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
We saw a need in the market. Crossfit is all about community, and I think that is something everyone was craving after being cooped up during the pandemic. We had a handful of friends looking for a new gym and thought the timing was ideal. We had always loved the idea of starting our own gym and building it around people who wanted to get fit and have fun doing it. Knowing that we could create this community of people and watch it grow was very exciting.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We opened The Coop CrossFit in June of 2021. Getting the gym going was definitely a challenge. We were looking for locations for months and found that commercial real estate was tough. Once we found the location we had to build out a space that would be ideal for our members. Every step of the process we kept them in mind. I don’t think we could have gotten there without support from friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I surround myself with a lot of folks that are smarter than I am. From IT to social media to construction, there is probably someone out there you know that can do it better and is willing to help. Don’t be afraid to put it out there when you are getting started.
I seriously take pride in the gym every day when I walk in. We are providing a clean, safe and encouraging place for our members. Watching people walk in the door that were intimidated to even take the first step and now seeing them get better every day is so inspiring. I don’t want anyone to ever be discouraged to take that first step.
I hope when people talk about The Coop they talk about the community. When you walk in the door you feel at home. Everyone there makes you feel comfortable, no matter your level or experience. At the end of the day this community quickly becomes your friends and they make you want to come in day after day.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Valley of the Sun has so much to offer. I would obviously start them at The Coop Crossfit with a workout 🙂 Friday we could do a casual dinner at Rehab Burger. You definitely need to try the PB&J Burger. If they want to go enjoy the scenery we could go to Sanctuary resort and have a drink on their patio to watch the sunset over the mountain.
Saturday we start the day hiking Camelback Mountain followed by brunch Virtu or Chelsea’s Kitchen. That afternoon we could wander around Old Town and see the shops followed by some pool time. Saturday dinner at La Locanda, a hidden gem in Old Town with the best Italian Food.
Sunday it is time to hit the course. We could golf at Camelback Golf Club or one of the other amazing courses around the Valley.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout would definitely go to our founding members. This crew of people are not just members, but great friends. They were the ones there with hammers and paint for the month leading up to our opening day. We seriously could not have made this gym happen without their efforts.
Kyle Pointer with KP Photography