CARLSBAD — On Oct. 4, the hot yoga and barre studio at Fortis Fitness and Yogalux swapped yoga mats for cocktail tables as the fitness club celebrated its fifth anniversary with a ribbon cutting and happy hour. The party was a combined fundraiser for the North County Food Bank — guests could bring a jar of peanut butter or make a $5 donation to join the festivities.
There was a lot going on — but this is exactly how Adam Jacobs, the fitness club owner, wanted the celebration to be.
“You don’t get to five years without community support, so we said let’s open up the cocktail party to a community appreciation party,” Jacobs said. “And what better way to do that than to give back to a local charity like the food bank.”
Fortis Fitness and Yogalux is a fitness club in Bressi Ranch that Jacobs describes as an all-in-one place for personal training, exercise classes, yoga, nutrition and more. Community involvement is a huge part of the way they run things — Jacobs, a Del Mar native, has known about the North County Food Bank for most of his life, and frequently partners with them. He hosts a club-wide food drive in November and holds a donation-only yoga class on Thanksgiving, among other events.
“We’re lucky we have the chance to work out at a nice gym, but there’s people that are worried about finding their next meal,” Jacobs said. “I just think it’s a great thing they offer in the community.”
Over at the North County Food Bank, Vice President of Development Liz Sheahan said the community work of Fortis Fitness and Yogalux shows they aim to be more than just another business.
“They’re not here just for themselves,” Sheahan said. “It’s business karma — if you’re giving, people give back to you and feel good about you and want to be part of that.”
This idea of “business karma” is popular among successful local proprietors. Kathleen Mandig is the director of corporate and member relations for the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, where Jacobs is one of the youngest members on the board of directors. Mandig said when businesses give back to the community, they tend to stick around longer.
“It really helps you be grounded and rooted in the community,” Mandig said. “They just tend to last longer that way.”
Networking is another huge piece of creating a business that lasts, according to Mandig. She said business owners like Jacobs, who consistently build relationships with their community, stand out from the crowd.
“Let people get to know you, and get to know people on a human level,” Mandig said. “It’s not just business to business — it starts with connecting with other human beings.”
When the cocktail tables are racked up and the yoga mats come back out into the studio, Jacobs still wants Fortis Fitness and Yogalux to be seen as a valuable part of the local community. His goal is to keep giving back and to have the fitness club see another five successful years.
“I think it’s really important for a business to be part of the community,” Jacobs said. “You give back, you get involved. That’s how you create a long-term relationship with your community.”