Business Spotlight: The LAB Pays It Forward 

By Brittany Wiley 
BAPA Business Liaison 

The Live and Believe Wellness Center (LAB) is a fitness studio (2019 W. 95th St.) and café (2025 W 95th St.) owned by the Martin family, Morgan and her father Mike.  Since May 2018, the Martins been serving up flexible fitness classes and “smoothies with soul” to our community. 

The Martins’ focus is to create an environment where they LIVE everyday like it’s the last and BELIEVE that anything is possible.  This motto became their inspiration after unexpectedly losing Morgan’s brother, Marcus Martin at the age of 25 due to a pulmonary embolism. “Tthey] wanted to turn tragedy to triumph with the LAB,” Morgan said.   

It is evident that the Martins and their staff make a conscious effort to do just that. They sing and dance on their Facebook and Instagram posts, write affirmations on smoothies, and consistently share their gratitude to customers, always with a smile and an uplifting attitude.  Morgan explains, “We as a team strive to be the energy we give to other people… [and] operate from a place of gratitude and service.”  

Despite the inability to operate their business normally in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, their first thought was, “how can we help” the community and its essential workers?  Knowing first responders’ health and energy would be sacrificed, the team at LAB started the “Pay It Forward Campaign,” sending wellness teas to essential workers.  Customers can make a donation to the campaign by adding it to their order total or just call separately.  At least once a week, LAB also offers a live fitness class, which asks for an optional donation to the campaign. 

With the donations, LAB has provided 100+ teas to frontline workers at OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center and Christ Hospital.  Police officers at the District 22 were provided for with a donation from the 19th Ward GoFundMe. 

Be on the lookout for a new project LAB is working on to expand the campaign: “We Care Packages. The pre-packaged gifts will include powder forms of their teas, which you can add to water, as well as protein bars and other easily packed items.  Customers can “sponsor” an essential worker and have these care packages picked up or sent to them. 

LAB has had to adapt their business to adhere to the “stay at home” mandate.  The physical fitness center is temporarily closed and the Wellness Center has adapted by taking orders for pickup and delivery.  Place an order by calling ahead3128949589.  For menu options, visit their website, live-and-believe-nutrition.business.site.  

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