Entrepreneurs bank on track records

Posted 3/18/09

According to the South Metro Denver Small Business statistics, the number of new establishments that opened in 2008 in Douglas County was 327. …

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Entrepreneurs bank on track records


According to the South Metro Denver Small Business statistics, the number of new establishments that opened in 2008 in Douglas County was 327.

Statistics for 2009 include The Little Gym and Pasta Jay’s in Lone Tree, both opening their doors within the last few weeks. Both businesses have successful track records, one an eatery and the other, a fitness center for children. One builds self-esteem and motor skills and the other fills the family up with authentic Italian food.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., The Little Gym was founded in 1976 by Robin Wes, an innovative educator with a genuine love for children. Today, The Little Gym International has more than 269 franchises across the United States and sets their digs in 24 countries.

The company uses curriculum-based gymnastics, movement and other programs to promote coordination, balance, rhythm and flexibility. In addition, The Little Gym’s programs have a history of enhancing children’s listening, social and intellectual skills. The gym welcomes children, ages 4 months through 12 years.

“Our philosophy is to introduce kids to the world of fitness in a caring and non-competitive way,” said Scott Risby, owner of the new gym. “Our students progress at their own pace, and rather than be the best, they are encouraged to try their best.”

The Little Gym is owned by Risby and his fiancé Cari Brainard. After years of dreaming of owning a business and exploring many different business opportunities, Risby and Brainard decided that they wanted to do something that made a difference and had a positive impact on people and their community. Both entrepreneurs who received their degrees in business from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Risby went on to a career in marketing and international business, while Brainard continues to work for a large medical group management company. However, both look back on their extensive childhood experiences in sports and athletics as key building blocks in making them the people they are today.

Pasta Jay’s first restaurant opened in Boulder in 1988 and has been serving Italian food since, in a fun-family atmosphere. A second restaurant opened in Moab, Utah, and now business is “excellent” in Lone Tree, according to manager Tony Nogo. He has been with the restaurant chain since 2001, starting in the Boulder location.

“We are on day 16,” Nogo said enthusiastically.

Incorporating family secret recipes, “Jay” learned the art of cooking from his mother, Marna Genovese and her grandmother, who was a cook for the first king of the United Countries of Italy. None the less, the slogan for the restaurant is “food fit for a king.”

The menu consists of succulent pasta dishes and pizza’s with tomato crème sauce with crumbled sausage and fresh spinach. For the pickier eater, try “Jay’s” fettuccine, linguine, spaghetti, rigatoni or pasta of the day served with garlic bread.

For more information on The Little Gym visit www.TheLittleGym.com or call 303-952-9393. For more information on Pasta Jay’s, visit www.pastajays.com


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