Our family business
“The story starts with my parents, who met and connected through their love for running, the outdoors, and health. They attended Chiropractic College together in the late 70’s after my Mom had earned her Physical Therapy degree. After graduating, they had a vision to build a practice addressing a continuum of physical health, combining Physical Therapy, Chiropractic care, and fitness. In 1982, STAR - Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation - was born; soon after, in 1984, so was I.”
After graduating from the University at Buffalo with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, my oldest sister Kali (who wrote the piece above) joined my parents’ practice fifteen years ago to begin her career as a Physical Therapist. Not far behind her was my sister Jamie, who graduated from the Indiana University with her degree in Exercise Science; with her diligent personality and astute mind, Jamie quickly took on the role of business operations manager.
Three years later, it was time for me to make a decision about what I was going to do when I graduated. As much as I wanted to branch out and explore the greater parts of New England, I felt a strong pull to come back home. My parents granted me the opportunity to take what they had built and turn it into my own - an opportunity that I felt I could not pass up. The gym was far from what we wanted it to look like at the time; we had a smaller, membership-based gym that wasn’t ideal for one-on-one training, group training, or frankly maintaining enough volume to compete with larger, box-style gyms. I had a vision of starting fitness classes, hiring trainers, and turning the place into a high-energy, cross-fit style gym. Life (and logistics), of course, had other plans.
Instead, we gradually changed the small, membership-based gym into an even smaller studio or “boutique" style gym. I stopped running regular classes (except for the occasional KettleBrews) and shifted into private, semi-private, and small-group training where I focused on building strength and endurance under a strong foundation. This gave me the opportunity to truly connect with clients in an intimate setting - something that I didn’t understand to be so powerful until later down the line.
Since then, it’s been so incredible watching this place unfold in front of us. As Kali, Jamie, and I began to become more confident and grounded in our roles, my parents slowly stepped further and further away until two months ago, they officially transferred the business over to Jamie and Kali: a momentous milestone for both the practice and our family.
Our goal now is to continue to build upon the foundation that my parents created and fulfill our family’s vision of turning the practice into an all encompassing wellness center. Alongside our Physical Therapy and training services, we offer yoga, massage, and infrared sauna therapy.
As I surpass the five year mark of launching Anchor, I feel incredibly grateful for everything my parents have done to get us here and for the opportunity to work alongside my sisters on a daily basis. My only hope is we continue to build off this vision and support the idea that we have had in mind all along: that our families, and our health, are perhaps the two most important gifts we can be given.
Stephanie Spoto, CSCS, PAS