Angela Duckworth Brannen wants her clients to look and feel their best.
So when it came time for the nurse practitioner to find a brick-and-mortar location for her startup medispa, she looked to the Minges Creek Athletic Club.
Tucked in Battle Creek’s busiest commercial corridor at 21 Minges Creek Place, the 57,000-square-foot facility is home to several independent and locally owned businesses that focus on health, wellness and beauty. That now includes Brannen’s FAB Face and Body, an aesthetics practice that offers botox, dermal fillers, microneedling (collagen induction), B12 shots and teeth whitening.
“I had this vision of a med spa or a vibe of people that were working on what makes them happy,” Brannen said. “…We put a lot into the renovation because we wanted a great space. This is my passion and I’m putting everything I’ve got into this… This is a nice friendly, comfortable environment.”
Brannan, a married mother of two, founded FAB Face and Body as a traveling business in 2020, opening the location at Minges Creek Athletic Club on February 11. There, she’s joined by aesthetic consultant and operations director Kristine Sibley, esthetician Sarah McGill and a collaborating physician.
Sibley said the response from the community has so far been “overwhelming.”
“We’ve had great community support since opening,” she said. “It can be looked at as a vanity-based business. The aesthetic industry does have a bad rap about it, being a ‘vain-type’ industry. We want to break those barriers, because really it’s about having people feel their best, and looking the way they feel on the inside.”
Brannen said she’s happy her company is adding to the synergy at Minges Creek Athletic Club.
“We definitely have a collaboration where it seems like it’s not separate businesses in this building,” she said. “Even though we are all our own entities, it’s a really motivating and encouraging atmosphere.”
Mark Harvey, president of Minges Creek Athletic Club, purchased the property in 1999. It was established in 1976 by Marshall Garvey, who developed many of the residential and commercial properties along the Beckley Road corridor, for $1 million, about $4.7 million today adjusted for inflation.
Opening as Minges Creek Racquet Club, it once housed six tennis and four racquetball courts. Tennis remains the primary focus of the facility with five indoor courts; one of original courts was removed to make room for a fitness center.
Fitness membership at the club includes use of the weight room, fitness classes, sauna, whirlpool and outdoor pool. There are also tennis and seasonal pool memberships available.
The original property had a 3,000-square-foot bar and reception room that was for a time home to Gary Fields’ Comedy Club, where comedians such as Drew Carey once performed.
In 2015, the former bar and banquet area was converted into R&R Tanning and Spa. Established by Karla Rice, the business offers messages, tanning, spa treatments, a hair salon and a smoothie bar.
“We were the first building out here. It was just a trailer in a dirt lot before they signed people to memberships,” Harvey said. “Like everything these days, we’ve changed it a little bit.”
Assistance through federal Paycheck Protection Program loans helped the 45-year-old facility survive after the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shuttered all gyms, as members and tennis tournaments were slow to return.
Amid the pandemic, Fit in 30 Studio relocated to the Minges Creek Athletic Club fitness center, bringing an infusion of members through its 30-minute classes. Redline Volleyball Club of Battle Creek also relocated to the complex, which is additionally home to the Olivet College men’s and women’s tennis teams.
“All those things together make it work,” Harvey said. “We’ve been able to do a few things to update as the years go along. I spend it as fast as I make it to keep this place up. I’m hoping to get a few more good years out of it and let somebody else take it over. I’m not ready to retire yet.”
Contact reporter Nick Buckley at [email protected] or 269-966-0652. Follow him on Twitter:@NickJBuckley
BUSINESSES AT 21 MINGES CREEK Pl.
FAB Face and Body: getfabtoday.com; 269-300-7438
Fit In 30 Studio: fitin30studio.com; 269-209-5539
Minges Creek Athletic Club: mingescreek.com; 269-979-1111
R&R Tanning and Spa:rrtanningandspa.com; 269-282-1634
Redline Volleyball Club:redlinevolleyballclub.net; 269-967-4392