CEDAR CITY — The Bristlecone Company opened to the community on June 1 to offer Cedar City’s only hot yoga studio, New York City bagels and help residents focus on connecting to themselves as well as the community.
Bristlecone is both a yoga studio, featuring several types of yoga classes, and a café that serves coffee, bagels and small entrees. Business partners Chelsee Robinson and Joann Stevens co-own and manage the company; Robinson manages the yoga studio and Stevens runs the café.
Robinson told Cedar City News Bristlecone’s slogan is “Coffee, Yoga, Connect” because “connection fosters everything,” and they hope to provide multiple ways to connect through the company.
“We decided to partner a café with a yoga studio – so it’s a fusion of two things – but they both foster connection,” Robinson said. “Whether it’s over a cup of coffee or you’re connected to your own body in a yoga class, you’re here to connect. When we’re connected with ourselves and others, that’s where creativity is born.”
Robinson specializes in trauma-informed yoga, and said connection also helps in other ways, especially in children.
“If they are truly connected to something, they are more likely to be successful and have less suicidal thoughts and less chances of addiction,” she said.
Robinson turned to yoga after teaching mathematics in school.
“I taught math and I really was more intuitive at teaching body awareness and self-regulation,” she said. “That wasn’t really a subject in school, so I kind of made it my own subject.”
She began with classes specialized for children who have been abused through the Children’s Justice Center, and Bristlecone soon grew from that program.
“I started partnering with the CJC, and we have classes for kids that have been abused,” Robinson said. “I had started teaching them and the program got so big that I needed my own space and this is just how it happened.”
Bristlecone’s yoga studio currently offers hot yoga, hot strength training, yoga and hot Pilates among other exercise classes, and Robinson intends to add trauma-informed and resilience yoga as well.
Robinson said she and Stevens are friends, and complement each other in the business with the goal of focusing on the community.
“I don’t think you can find a duo that are more opposite than Joann and I are, or more dedicated to the community,” she said. “We always come back together on what is best for the kids of Iron County and first responders.”
She added that Stevens has experience in managing cafes as well as helping businesses be more successful in turning a profit, and their strengths accompany each other well.
“We kind of took the leap together, and now she’s making money for herself and not just other people,” Robinson said. “She’s kind of like the organized side of the brain and I’m the creative side of the brain. Just like I educated her in yoga, she educated me in bagels.”
Bristlecone’s café features authentic New York bagels, which are shipped from New York and baked in the café.
“They get shiny and fluff right up,” Robinson said.
Robinson also credits Bristlecone’s successful opening to her partnership with Stevens.
“This was a lot to pull off,” she said. “I could have never done this without her, I don’t think she could’ve done it without me. We’re always pushing each other.”
Robinson added another unique aspect of Bristlecone is the all-inclusive nature of the company, which includes gender-neutral bathrooms and does not distinguish between certain levels of yoga participants.
“Through the café, the bathrooms and the yoga studio everyone is welcome,” Robinson said. “We don’t have levels on any of our classes. It doesn’t matter where you’re at. We, as a team, talked about what exact verbiage you use to make sure everyone feels included but also push them to their maximum potential.”
Bristlecone is located at 67 West Center Street in Cedar City, and retains some of the features of the building’s use as a garage in its design, as well as furniture from shuttered The Garden House restaurant. Robinson credited Wyatt Larsen of Strategy Laboratories with being able to preserve parts of the restaurant, which has been closed.
“We wanted to keep the industrial feel,” she said. “He reupholstered it, he fixed it, he made it usable and then he made it fit the vibe too. The two banisters are the ones that went up the stairs at The Garden House and then he fixed it so they could hang vertically.”
Bristlecone is open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit Bristlecone Company’s website or find the company on social media.
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