Killer Body Fitness fighting to survive in Mineola

Killer Body Fitness fighting to survive in Mineola
Owner, Brittany Cole (Front Row Kneeling) alongside her Killer Body Fitness Family. (Photo Courtesy Brittany Cole)

Killer Body Fitness, a gym for women run by women in Mineola, has recently absorbed several blows that threaten its survival.

Now, business owner Brittany Cole is holding a fundraiser to save her business.

For the past year, Cole has run her studio with no air conditioning or heat. It started last April when the $20,000 commercial AC/heating unit above her building went out.

To minimize the impact, portable fans and heaters have been held. Some classes are even held outside, weather permitting, with group runs down Horton Highway and Jericho Turnpike.

But Cole’s clientele has decreased from 80 recurring clients to about 25.

“It affects me when I have to see my instructor wear two hoodies because she’s cold while teaching a class. That makes me feel uncomfortable,” Cole said. “My staff and customers are like family, and you don’t want to see your family suffer.”

Now pregnant with her second child and fighting to keep her storefront open, Cole’s business is struggling financially.

“With the amount of money lost within the past year, we can barely afford to keep open,” Cole said. “It’s very important to me to have and be able to keep and maintain this special place for women because when it comes to the fitness industry, it can be a very vulnerable industry for people who have not worked out. When you finally find that space where you can work on your health, the last thing you want to do is strip that away from someone. It’s like stripping away healthcare.”

But Cole is not giving up. Though she was previously unaware that replacing the air and heating system was a part of her lease agreement, she is now facing the hurdle head-on.

Cole plans to hold a fundraiser June 1 in addition to a GoFundMe page to help replace the HVAC system, which costs an estimated $20,000.

The fundraiser will feature a full day of free classes so local women can learn about Killer Body, help the business stay open and help them find a second home.

There will be other vendors and businesses from the Mineola community at the event as well. Confirmed classes on the fundraiser day will be held at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m.

Cole has faced challenges before.

She moved her fledgling Killer Body business, which at that time was just a collection of clientele at multiple gyms, from Orlando, Fla. to New York in 2019.

In Florida, Cole had owned a tax office.

In early 2019, she ventured onto a new career path, becoming a dance fitness instructor, securing her personal training and cross-fit certifications and working at multiple gyms to build up clientele.

When she moved to New York, she worked as a trainer at multiple gyms in Nassau County.

When one of the gyms she was working in Floral Park went up for lease, it seemed like a perfect fit.

“I’m the first person to take advantage of any positive opportunity given to me,” Cole said. “It was so easy for me to say, ‘Yeah, I’m a trainer now, but I can be a gym owner tomorrow.”

She took a leap of faith, asking the landlord if she could get a loan and take over the lease. Overnight, Cole became a gym owner.

Killer Body Fitness is a studio for women featuring strength training classes, core building and recovery classes, dance cardio classes and more.

The fitness center features two rooms: a studio where dance fitness classes partake and a gym for anyone who wants to do strength training.

Cole got the business idea from her own passion for fitness and her desire to help women who have never worked out before conquering that fear in a comfortable environment.

And the business name honors her late brother, Kevin Burton, who died at the age of 16. Killer Body shares his initials.

But Cole has struggled with her landlords.

“With my first space, I had a landlord who wasn’t legally my landlord. I found out during court that they didn’t even own my building,” Cole said. “They were illegally renting to me and they weren’t taking care of the building. We had leaks and mold issues.”

So Cole relocated to Mineola in 2020, hosting her grand opening just two weeks before all gyms were required to shut down due to the pandemic.

Killer Body did what it could to survive, maintaining some clientele remotely until in-person classes were permitted to resume.

Then her heating and air-conditioning problems began. Still Cole remains undeterred.

“Not everyone gets a second chance at living out their dreams,” Cole said. “The last thing I want is for an AC system to kill our community. We have to figure out a way to be able to keep this positive space for the women.”

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