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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
moved, we’ve added 10-15 more members,” said Hong.
The Story Behind the Name
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.
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
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.