Business & Real Estate

Mama Bootcamp thrives on can-do message

How does fitness guru Lorri Ann Code do it? The core values for her business, Folsom-based Mama Bootcamp, don’t mention anything about losing weight or even getting fit, yet the company she founded amid an economic downturn is expanding throughout California and will soon open branches in Alaska and Virginia.

Code was the only coach when she started training about 50 clients in 2007. Today, she has 54 coaches who train more than 1,000 clients in the Sacramento region, Bay Area, Fresno and Southern California. She will soon personally greet her first clients in Virginia and Alaska because coaches who moved to those states are starting up groups. Code likes this kind of organic growth, she said, because her coaches are steeped in the Mama Bootcamp philosophy.

Speaking of that philosophy, Code describes Mama Bootcamp’s mission as empowering clients, motivating them, helping them to grow and change their lifestyles. You could talk with her quite a while before she even mentions concepts like building muscle mass or shedding pounds, even though the 53-year-old athlete recently finished the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run of the Half Ironman in just 6 hours, 8 minutes.

“In the fitness industry, we need to listen to what people say,” Code said. “People have been let down and discouraged. We’re at an all-time high for obesity, and there’s obviously something we’re not doing right. We need to give people faith and hope. ...

“You might never have had anybody who believed in you growing up. I didn’t. But if I can say to you as your coach, ‘You can do it, too,’ I think the sky’s the limit.”

As Code’s business took off in 2010, her husband, Les Myers, left his job as a manager at 24 Hour Fitness to help her manage the growth. The couple, who are business partners, acquired a building at 722 Sutter St. in Folsom last year to give Mama Bootcamp a permanent headquarters.

Wheeling and dealing

The number of specialty bicycle retailers continues to decline, so the owners of Roseville Cyclery were tickled pink to tell me that not only had they survived their first year in business but had doubled their gross revenue.

Careful readers of this column will recall that Roseville police Officer Tim Guter joined with husband-and-wife Oliver and Yi Bell to open this business last July at 404 Vernon St. in downtown Roseville. Oliver Bell met Guter when the self-described cycling fanatic showed up at a shop that Bell managed and asked to volunteer. Bell’s first assignment for the new recruit: Clean the bathrooms.

All three owners have become familiar with that task over the last year, Bell said, but they also have more clearly defined their roles. Oliver Bell manages the shop, Guter handles the accounting and Yi Bell supervises marketing, community outreach and the website.

They started with three employees but now have eight people working for them. Two of the eight are mountain bike racers at Woodcreek High School in Roseville. Roseville Cyclery sponsors the mountain bike team there and at Roseville High School. The bike shop also sponsors adult racing teams and sends its mechanics out to regional cycling events to help riders with repairs. Consequently, Roseville Cyclery’s T-shirts and cycling jerseys are worn by many people considered knowledgeable about the sport.

“All of that’s worked out really well for us from a business perspective and from a marketing perspective,” Oliver Bell said. “Just think about a high school racer. They’ve got to get a bike. Well, when they start riding, Dad starts riding. Mom starts riding, and younger siblings start riding. Then it becomes a family activity, and we’re seeing a lot of that.”

Taking to the air – soon

Access Sacramento officially will become a radio broadcaster sometime in September as it begins to test the antenna, transmitter and other equipment it is ordering for a new low-power, 100-watt FM station. Listeners will be able to find the station at 96.5 KUBU-LP.

Public officials agreed to allocate the $50,000 needed to buy the equipment because KUBU will broadcast live meetings of three governing bodies: the Sacramento City Council, Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission, said Gary Martin, executive director for Access Sacramento. He plans a launch ceremony in early October.

Until now, the 60 or so volunteer deejays who already produce audio programming for Access Sacramento could only be heard on the Internet or on cable TV channels where Access Sacramento broadcast a community bulletin board.

Martin has found the community response to a radio station to be nothing short of amazing, he said.

“Even as we began to promote the fact that we had gotten the license, eight or nine months ago ..., the number of people who have been coming to our free orientation session who are interested in radio or television has increased dramatically,” he said. “For a $30 membership fee, people in Sacramento County who have something to share now can have an even bigger voice, a bigger broadcast capacity because KUBU will be over-the-air from downtown Sacramento.”