A year after winning the Saugeen Economic Development Corporation's Hawks' Nest competition, Jesse Topp of Topp Performance in Port Elgin says his business is thriving.
"We definitely hired more people, we have more clients, and the business runs smoother. We're really trying to give back to the community. A lot more kids here, we've started running summer camps and P.A. Day Camps, on any given day there could be between 20-100 kids here trying to better themselves," says Topp.
Through winning, Topp claimed $9,000 and also won the competition's People's Choice Award.
"It excelled us," he adds.
Topp says he used a portion of his winnings ($5,000) towards marketing and advertising. "That brought in more clients, which are still our clients and basically enabled us to build the business even more from the revenue that was generated there."
Topp says the remaining funds were donated back to the gym which features a variety of activities from children's summer camps, Jiu Jitsu, personal training and is home to Saugeen Shores Crossfit.
"If someone comes in and the membership is too much for their family to afford I will use it (winnings) towards that," says Topp who does it primarily for youth.
Topp has over 130 children registered in programming at the Maple Square Mall Facility in Port Elgin, which is open seven days a week, features four full-time staff members and 12 contract employees.
Topp himself teaches Martial Arts at the facility and is gearing up for one of Topps Performances biggest events, a Jiu Jitsu Training Summer Camp which will feature athletes from around the world July 19-21 and is open to adults and youth.
"This Camp will bring in Master Sylvio Behring, who is one of the highest ranking Jiu Jitsu people in the World. He's a red and black belt. I always say to people, if they don't know about Martial Arts that he would be the Sidney Crosby of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he's bringing with him eight black belt professors."
Topp says they're expecting 200 people.
Topp originally opened in Kincardine four years ago and moved to Saugeen Shores two years ago. He says one day he would like to expand back to Kincardine.