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Wellness Center Opens in Hartland

  • Stacey Mello, owner of the Hartland Wellness Center, participates in a Jazzercise class on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, at the wellness center in Hartland, Vt. Mello teaches kickboxing, pilates and other classes at the wellness center. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • The Hartland Wellness Center seen on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, on Quechee Road in Hartland, Vt. Stacey Mello, of Hartland, recently opened the wellness center and will offer group fitness, yoga classes, private training and massage therapy. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Denise Zack, of Hartland, Vt., teaches a Jazzercise class on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, at the Hartland Wellness Center in Hartland, Vt. Zack said than Jazzercise is a dance-based fitness routine that has been around for more that 40 years. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Alyssa Green, of Merrimack, N.H., kicks a pad held by Stacey Mello, owner of the Hartland Wellness Center, on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, during an impromptu kickboxing class at the wellness center in Hartland, Vt. Green said she drove an hour and 45 minutes to the wellness center to support Mello, who she has worked for in the past. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Saturday, January 06, 2018

Hartland — Last summer Stacey Mello, recently separated from her husband, was looking for an apartment in Hartland.

She found a charming residence above the old general store, but her interest was really captured by a space downstairs, which was being used as office space but had previously been a beloved yoga studio in the community.

Mello, who operates a personal training business and teaches group fitness, was offering classes out of her house at the time, but this seemed like the perfect nudge to open her own studio.

“The universe has got a door for you and my door is opening with this,” Mello said. “It’s amazing how I wasn’t looking for it. Never when I was looking for an apartment did I think I would be opening a yoga studio and living above it.”

However, that’s exactly what has happened.

On Monday, the Hartland Wellness Center will open to the public. In the 800-square-foot space, Mello will be offering group fitness and yoga classes, private training and massage therapy.

Eventually she hopes to offer seminars and make space available for book clubs and other community groups.

“I really want this to be a place for wellness,” in all its manifestations, Mello said. “I definitely don’t want it to be a gym. Some people find gyms intimidating. I want people to be comfortable to come here.”

The opening of the Hartland Wellness Center brings the building’s story full-circle.

For years the space in the old general store held the Hartland Yoga Center, opened by Helen Dicke in 2002. The yoga studio closed after Dicke was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. She died in December 2016.

For the past few years the studio space has been mostly vacant.

Matt Dunne, who owns the building, said he is delighted that the wellness center is opening, once again using a space that was specifically designed with yoga in mind.

“Helen had proven there was a demand for this kind of offering and the response Stacey has received demonstrates it is still there,” he said in an email.

Mello said that the community has been very enthusiastic about the center and most residents are happy to see that the space will offer yoga classes once again.

“Many (residents) were close with Helen and people were thrilled that her legacy is still standing,” she said. “That means a lot to me.”

Mello has already had about 100 people sign up for classes, she said.

During the opening months members can purchase punch-cards that entitle them to 10 classes for $100, or they can purchase unlimited access for two months for $198.

In the future, Mello plans to have clients sign up for an eight-week series of classes at a time, similar to how many community and recreational centers run. She estimates that she will need about 300 people taking classes to sustain the center.

The center is already providing opportunity for other professionals in the area. Two additional personal trainers, four group class instructors and two massage therapists will be working with Mello in the space.

Mello plans to offer about 18 classes each week, ranging from chair yoga for senior citizens to more high-impact fitness classes and even “mommy and me” classes.

“I want to appeal to people who want slow, gentle classes, and those who like moves a little bit quicker,” she said. “Everyone is different and has different needs. I want everyone to find something here that makes them happy.”

The wellness center will host gym classes for preschoolers at the Hartland Cooperative Nursery School twice a month.

Mello, who has a teenage son, hopes to expand offerings for kids and teens in time for summer vacation.

Dunne said he believes the Hartland Wellness Center will benefit the entire community economically, not just in terms of health and fitness.

“This is precisely the kind of offering that will reinforce Hartland’s reputation as an excellent community for people to live, raise a family and retire,” he said. “Having it based in the village will also support the other small businesses in town that are all walking distance and the vibrant farmers market in the summer.”