Interviewed/Compiled by BBA Volunteers Jason Zwick & Susan Trabucco
Business Name: The Refinery
Proprietor: Ashleigh Kayser
Address: 4803 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97213
Hours of Operation:
Mon. – Fri.: Classes start at 6 am
Saturday: Classes start at 8:30 am
What does your business do/sell?
We work with clients to create a fitness plan. We can help everyone get into or stay in shape, from the couch potato to the elite athlete. We do a lot of work with injury recovery and kids. We cater to the needs of our clients. We are happy when clients are reaching their goals.
Did you purchase this business or start the business?
I started The Refinery in December 2012. We have been successful from the start and we continue to get better every day.
What inspired you to buy or start it?
While I was raising my four kids, I was a trainer at a small gym. Being a trainer was a hobby for me. The gym was moving and I wanted to stay in the area. I had a vision “I am not going to stop until I get all of NE Portland fit.” Opening my own place has helped me strive to reach my vision.
When did you open in Beaumont Village, and why?
We opened in Beaumont Village at the end of 2012. I am here because of the community and neighborhood. I was at a friend’s house on 47th and I walked to A Children’s Place to look at some books. I saw this space and knew it would fit my vision. This location gave me the opportunity to have an open layout without machines.
What makes your business unique?
Our open space and trainers. We have the right balance of sophistication, warmth and edginess. We are energetic, extraverted and welcoming. We are recess for adults. We do not use machines. We have ropes, tires, bands, balls and pull-up bars, etc. We have a Quickie Crew group class. It is every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30 – 1:00. This is for busy people to be able to get in a quick workout and then go back to work. We offer a free 30 minute assessment to find out what trainer would work best with you and to get a baseline. We don’t just assign you to the next available person. I know that the correct trainer will help my clients hit their goals.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done in your life?
Giving birth to four kids is my proudest accomplishment. That is what makes me who I am.