Angela Duckworth Brannen wants her clients to look and feel their best.

So when it came time for the nurse practitioner to find a physical location for her start-up medispa, she turned to Minges Creek Athletic Club.

Nestled in Battle Creek’s busiest commercial corridor at 21 Minges Creek Place, the 57,000 square foot facility is home to several independent and local businesses that focus on health, wellness and beauty. This now includes Brannen FABULOUS Face and Bodyan aesthetic practice that offers botox, dermal fillers, microneedling (collagen induction), B12 injections and teeth whitening.

“I had this vision of a medical spa or vibe of people working on what makes them happy,” Brannen said. “…We invested a lot in the renovation because we wanted a large space. It’s my passion and I put everything I have into it… It’s a beautiful, friendly and comfortable environment.”

Angela Brannen and Kristine Sibley assist a client at FAB Face and Body in Battle Creek, Michigan on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

Brannan, a married mother of two, founded FAB Face and Body as a traveling business in 2020, opening the Minges Creek Athletic Club site on February 11. There she is joined by aesthetic consultant and COO Kristine Sibley, esthetician Sarah McGill and a collaborating physician.

Sibley said the community response so far has been “overwhelming”.

“We’ve had great community support since opening,” she said. “It can be seen as a vanity-based business. The beauty industry has a bad reputation for this, being a ‘vanity-type’ industry. We want to break down those barriers, because it’s really about making sure make people feel better, and look at what they feel inside.”

Brannen said she’s glad her business is adding to the synergy of the Minges Creek Athletic Club.

FAB Face and Body adds to health and beauty services at Minges Creek Athletic Club in Battle Creek, Michigan on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

“We definitely have a collaboration where it seems like there are no separate businesses in this building,” she said. “Even though we’re all our own entities, it’s a really motivating and encouraging atmosphere.”

Mark Harvey, president of the Minges Creek Athletic Club, purchased the property in 1999. It was established in 1976 by Marshall Garvey, who developed numerous residential and commercial properties along the Beckley Road corridor, for $1 million, about $4.7 million today adjusted for inflation.

Opened as Minges Creek Racquet Club, it once housed six tennis courts and four racquetball courts. Tennis remains the primary focus of the facility with five indoor courts; one of the original courts is being removed to make way for a fitness center.

Fitness club membership includes use of the weight room, fitness classes, sauna, hot tub, and outdoor pool. Tennis and seasonal pool memberships are also available.

Mark Harvey, owner of Minges Creek Athletic Club, poses for a portrait on the volleyball court in Battle Creek, Michigan, Thursday, April 14, 2022.

The original property had a 3,000 square foot bar and ballroom which for a time housed the Gary Fields Comedy Club, where comedians such as Drew Carey once performed.

In 2015, the former bar and banquet area was transformed into R&R Tanning and Spa. Founded by Karla Rice, the business offers messages, tanning, spa treatments, a hair salon and a smoothie bar.

Daisy Oliveira receives a deep tissue massage from Karla Rice at R&R Tanning and Spa in Battle Creek, Michigan on Thursday, April 14, 2022.

“We were the first building here. It was just a trailer in a dirt lot before they signed memberships,” Harvey said. “Like everything these days, we changed it up a bit.”

Aid through loans from the Federal Paycheck Protection Program helped the 45-year-old facility survive after all gyms were temporarily closed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as members and tournaments of tennis were slow to return.

Amid the pandemic, Fit in 30 Studio moved to the fitness center at Minges Creek Athletic Club, bringing in an infusion of members through its 30-minute classes. The Battle Creek Redline Volleyball Club has also moved to the complex, which is also home to the Olivet College men’s and women’s tennis teams.

Fit in 30 Studio at Minges Creek Athletic Club offers a variety of fitness classes that are typically 30 minutes or less.

“All of those things together make it work,” Harvey said. “We’ve been able to do a few updates over the years. I’m spending it as fast as I do to maintain this place. I’m hoping to get a few more good years out of it and let someone else take over. I’m not ready to retire yet.”

Contact reporter Nick Buckley at [email protected] or 269-966-0652. Follow him on Twitter: @NickJBuckley

SHOPS AT 21 RUISSEAU MINGES Pl.

FABULOUS Face and Body: getfabtoday.com; 269-300-7438

Fit into 30 studios: fitin30studio.com; 269-209-5539

Minges Creek Sports Club: www.mingescreek.com; 269-979-1111

R&R Tanning and Spa:rrtanningandspa.com; 269-282-1634

Redline Volleyball Club:redlinevolleyballclub.net; 269-967-4392