Less than a year after Jill Schroeder opened a second JABS fitness center on Route 58 in Riverhead, she has closed it. Its last day of operation was Saturday, May 12.
Ms. Schroeder, mother of a 3-year-old, said she jumped at the opportunity to expand the business, but found it difficult to balance her time between two locations and a young family. The Riverhead JABS (Joining Active Bodies Studio) opened in September.
“My dream was always to expand JABS,” she said in an email. “I love what I do. I have an amazing team of instructors who share the same vision, and I wanted to share this enthusiasm of fitness to others … I made the incredibly hard decision to close the Riverhead location so I can be a better mom and business owner. My family and clients deserved that.”
She said the Cutchogue location, which she opened about seven years ago, will remain open. Calling JABS a “unique facility,” she said she’ll remain open to future opportunities for growth.
Ms. Schroeder said clients who frequented the Riverhead location can continue working out in Cutchogue location. Clients were contacted in advance and decisions about remaining active memberships were handled case by case. Anyone with more questions can contact Ms. Schroeder at [email protected]
She also thanked Maximus and American Muscle Studios, both on Main Street, for allowing clients to work out at those fitness centers for the duration of their memberships.
In 2012, Ms. Schroeder was named The Suffolk Times Businessperson of the Year for developing a reputation in town not just as a fitness instructor, but for running a business that gives back to the community.
Last year she and other businesses in Southold Town raised over $60,000 to bring Project Fit America to Southold and Greenport school districts in partnership with Peconic Bay Medical Center.
In November she donated some office space at the back of the Riverhead location to The Butterfly Effect Project, a nonprofit that aims to empower young girls by giving them “the tools to assist in achieving emotionally stable and self confident futures,” its website reads.
The group relocated to First Baptist Church of Riverhead last month.
Ms. Schroeder said it’s “extremely sad” to have closed the Riverhead center so soon, but thanked her clients and the community for embracing her and the second location.
“As a trainer, I motivate clients daily. Through guidance, discipline, and inspiration, I help them through their physical and mental transformations,” she said. “Sometimes the journey can be hard, but the end result is always worth it. That’s how I am approaching this situation; sometimes you have to go through the difficult times to get to the good. I look forward to being able to help more clients through personal training at JABS, because no matter our story, we are on the same journey.”
Photo caption: After opening JABS on Route 58 last summer, owner Jill Schroeder closed the Riverhead location Saturday. The company’s Cutchogue location (pictured) remains open. (Rachel Siford photo)