DENVILLE, NJ – The Shoppes at Union Hill in Denville officially welcomed two new tenants on Fri, Oct 25. Trader Joe’s held its ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m., while CycleBar conducted its ceremony approximately 45 minutes later.

“For those of you who drove by here about a month ago, and we didn’t have the front of the building, you were like ‘you’re not opening in October,’” joked Shawn Leahy, the Denville general store manager or “captain” of Trader Joe’s.

“It was…great…working in partnership with the town, working in partnership with everyone here in this community who made this happen. So, I just want to say thank you. We are so, so fortunate to be in this community and we love being here,” Leahy said.

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Leahy has been with Trader Joe’s for 24 years. The Denville store is his 11th store. He ran the Princeton store before coming to Denville.

Approximately 90 employees or “crew members” work at the store, the majority of whom live in Denville or reside within a 10-minute drive to the store.

“We could not be more proud of our local artists, local employees who are working here now,” stated Leahy. “They’re not sent out from California. They’re not sent from Oregon. They’re sent from Denville.”

Working with a team of artists since January, Denville resident and Trader Joe’s crew member Eric Valosin, designed the store’s artwork.

As for the artistic concept, “With all the Trader Joe’s, we always want to merge a town feel with a Trader Joe’s feel,” Valosin explained.

“We pulled in a lot of the local architecture, a lot of the hot spots in town, and set them on background pieces that would reflect the neighborhood – some window architecture from some of the buildings in town, the wheel shape you see as a motif around town. The lakes you see are the actual shapes of the lakes themselves, then we painted local imagery onto of the shapes, against foreground imagery that relate to the Trader Joe’s feel.”

The Denville store is the 15th Trader Joe’s to which Valosin has contributed the artistic design.

Similar to Trader Joe’s, CycleBar touts a Denville-centric staff.

“We have 18 employees who live in the Greater Denville area,” shared Raymond “RJ” Wicks. He and his wife Joanne Diaz-Wicks are co-owners of CycleBar.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of the Denville community and still have a few more positions to fill,” Wicks added.

According to Wicks and Diaz-Wicks, CycleBar is a franchise that offers group fitness, instructor-led, cycling workouts for all levels of experience.

“Group fitness is highly effective,” said Wicks. “Mostly it’s motivational. You have the instructor motivating you and the support of your friends in a class setting. It’s less intimidating than someone going to a gym alone trying to motivate themselves.”

“We offer more than 30 classes per month. Our earliest class is at 5:30 a.m. The latest is 8:15 p.m.,” Wicks stated. He explained that students can choose from several monthly membership packages, bundled packages or a drop-in rate.

“Our studio consists of 45 bikes, plus the instructor’s bike. Additionally, we include shoes, towels, filtered water, refreshments and lockers with each class. Moreover, all of our instructors are certified.”

Elit Kirschenbaum is one of CycleBar’s certified instructors.

“I have been a certified instructor for almost three years. This is my first CycleBar.”

According to Kirschenbaum, a certified instructor typically will know how to set up the bike for herself and her students; understand the biomechanics of cycling, anatomy basics and heart rate monitoring; know different drills and how to select appropriate music; and know various coaching and teaching methods.

In addition to the classes it offers, CycleBar has a philanthropic component, CycleGives, whereby it offers rides and donates all the proceeds from the rides to designated charities. This Sun, Oct 27, at 12:30, CycleBar will hold a charity ride for the Young Survival Coalition, an international organization that focuses on women ages 40 and under who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

As stated on its website, “At the heart of CycleBar is our passion for giving back to the community.”


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