CrossFit Juke Joint

CrossFit Juke Joint (CFJJ) is a box, not a gym. Unlike gyms, CrossFit facilities (boxes) do not house treadmills or 20 weight machines. They resemble a box with four walls that contain weights, ropes, and bars. However, perhaps the most important piece of equipment a box can carry is a sense of community – something CFJJ owner Sung Hong cares deeply about.

An accomplished martial artist, Hong was first introduced to the CrossFit lifestyle while managing a fast-growing martial arts school in Virginia. Hong was immediately hooked by the challenging and rewarding fitness routine CrossFit offered, sometimes even working out twice a day.

In 2015, Hong decided to leave Virginia to pursue his dream of opening a CrossFit box. Armed with his list of 19 potential new cities to call home and a full tank of gas, Hong traveled across the country in search of a new location – preferably someplace warm and dry. After checking out 27 different CrossFit boxes in New Mexico, Arizona, and California, Hong met a couple who suggested he look at Grand Junction.

In 2016, Hong opened his first box in Grand Junction in a leased space next to a busy grocery store. While the space met his and his members’ needs, Hong wanted to own the building, which was not an option at this location.

In April 2019, a CFJJ member found the box’s new home, a former road sign company building just south of downtown. Seeking financial guidance to purchase and complete the building’s much-needed renovations, Hong was directed to the SBDC. Hong worked extensively with Grand Junction SBDC Director Julie Morey and SBDC Coach Helen Roe while developing and polishing his business plan.

“Julie Morey with the Grand Junction SBDC helped me as I planned for purchasing a new location to move my business, giving me her time and expertise to complete a business plan. Helen Roe patiently advised me on preparing my loan application,” said Hong.

Upon being approved for a $30,000 loan, Hong and his dedicated members quickly moved in and began renovations. Building renovations have not impacted membership numbers or classes. CFJJ’s membership has increased to 35 members since moving to its current location.

“Since we moved, we’ve added 10-15 more members,” said Hong.

The Story Behind the Name 

Hong thought of the name, CrossFit Juke Joint, while venturing south along the Blues Highway during his cross-country journey. He stayed at the historic Riverside Hotel, a popular resting place for well-known blues singers and, later, a juke joint. A juke joint is defined as a vernacular term for an informal establishment featuring music, dancing, gambling, and drinking, primarily operated by African Americans in the southeastern United States.

“It was pretty cool. It was a community. It was random people, but they loved playing blues together. So, it’s kind of like the same concept of CrossFit, too,” said Hong.

Hong credits his growth to the one piece of equipment many gyms or boxes lack – community. Hong hopes to grow the box to 60 members and plans to enhance the community-based atmosphere further by helping members prepare and enjoy healthy meals together.

Angels In the Making

Teri Thomas, owner of Angels in the Making, LLC, has always had a passion for working with animals. She trained her first dog at the age of 8. As a child she spent her summers at her grandparent’s ranch in New Mexico, there she raised and trained chickens to do a variety of tasks much to everyone’s surprise. Born and raised in Colorado she attended CSU in Fort Collins for 1 year and Mesa College

Read More »
Yoga Vinyassa

When Tessa McInnis moved to Grand Junction just over a year ago, she left her training and teaching at Core Power Yoga with hopes she would find something comparable in Grand Junction. To her dismay though, there was nothing even close to similar so she decided to utilize her extensive training and open her own Power Yoga studio. While waitressing, Tessa worked with the Grand Junction SBDC taking the How to Start a Business class

Read More »
Kannah Creek Brewery

For Jim Jeffryes, brewing beer had always been a source of refuge from his stressful job in technology. That is, until 1998 when he decided to jump into brewing beer full time. Although Jim had brewed beer recreationally, he had never done it in the quantities he was going to need to support a brewery, so after purchasing land on 9th & Struthers in Grand Junction, he enrolled in beer school and took Leading Edge

Read More »
Busy Bea Quilters

When Grand Junction’s only quilting store closed it’s doors in the Fall of 2013, the local quilting community was devastated. With the closest quilting venue hundreds of miles away, avid quilter, Bea Root, and long time quilting buddy, Tracy Miller, decided that something needed to be done. The idea began forming late last year, and Bea, after being referred to the Small Business Development Center by a close friend, signed up for the Pumping up

Read More »
Alpine Autohaus

Louie is a six-foot-tall (and growing) house plant and the shop greeter at Alpine Autohaus. He was passed down from the original owner with the adage, “If Louie is doing well, the business is doing well.” According to Alpine Autohaus’ owner, Sean Cotter, Louie is doing very well. Alpine Autohaus opened in 1995 as a one-man operation. Cotter was hired in 2013 when the original owner was ready to move on and with the understanding

Read More »
Frame Depot

The Frame Depot was opened in 1986 by Randy Bogart. The business was originally housed with its companion business, Art Depot, which was owned by Randy’s brother, Jack. In 1996, the business moved to a new location with a street that was yet to be named. Since two other family members also had businesses on the street, it only seemed natural to name it Bogart Lane. The new building housed both Depots, but after Jack

Read More »