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LYNN — After nearly 11 months of renovating what used to be Welch’s Florist, Michael Quintana opened his new nutrition cafe and fitness center, Innergy, this weekend.
Innergy, located at 121 Essex St., sells healthy juices, teas, coffees and food from the Herbalife Nutrition company and will share the space with a fitness center where Quintana will host personal-training sessions.
Quintana, who is a former Lynn Classical football and basketball player, will use Innergy as a place to teach people the fundamentals of fitness, including eating healthy and learning how to do basic tasks properly.
He began renovations on the location in May of 2021, and said it has been a long road since.
Quintana said the contractor he hired for the project hustled him out of some money, was inexperienced, and didn’t do what he had requested. As a result, Quintana had to learn how to finish the renovations on his own.
“It was super chaotic,” Quintana said. “Everything was personally funded… The budget got really tight.”
The beauty behind the process of starting his own business, he said, was that it kept him humble and showed him how much support he had.
Between community members assisting him with renovations or donating to his business, and City Hall helping him through the process, Quintana said this was a “journey.”
“I was able to do some community fundraisers to bring some awareness to the space and talk about what we’re trying to bring to the community,” Quintana said. “A lot of people helped out and played a role in all of it. It was great.”
The vision for Innergy is to be a “game changer” for the community by showing people what’s possible when it comes to fitness, health and self love, Quintana said.
“I sit here and I look at the space and the initial thought process is ‘how many people can I impact?’” Quintana said.
Quintana had struggled with his fitness and mental health in the past, but having gotten through it and “stay(ing) the course,” he said he now wants to help people get through whatever it is that they are going through.
“I was so excited to do a lot of fitness and nutrition, which is in here, but I’m more excited to talk to people about the importance of mental awareness, who you surround yourself with, and your circle of influence,” he said.
Innergy supports people who struggle with fitness and nutrition, offering a space to learn how to move past that and correlate it to the outside world. As a community space, anyone can come in and use the cafe and fitness center.
Quintana recently got certified as an extreme hip-hop dance instructor, which he said makes exercise fun and allows him to engage with a larger group of people.
“In the group classes, the idea is to show people how to workout in a group setting, so they feel comfortable with everyone around them, and then eventually I let them control the workout,” Quintana said. “You know that feeling when you walk in the gym and don’t really know what to do? Well the group I have here is so welcoming and helpful.”
Quintana is also hosting “Thankful Thursdays” at Innergy, where he goes around and asks people there what they are thankful for.
“It allows us to feel safe in the space and open up and actually talk about things that we have going on,” he said. “The overall vision for the space is to find more ways to give back and make an impact… We want to build a relationship with everyone who walks through the door.”
To learn more about Innergy, visit its Facebook or Instagram page at Innergy Nutrition.
Allysha Dunnigan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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