As you approach the corner where Cook Street meets Quadra Avenue and soon turns into Cloverdale Avenue, you pass the new location of Backfit Clinic, a spinal health clinic. Nestled among older, modest family homes and opposite of Thrifty’s Food, the building is a shimmering composite of glass and metal that has drawn more than a few admiring looks since it opened its doors last month.
On Saturday, the business celebrates its official arrival in the Four Corners Village with a grand opening that marks an evolution for the business and the area.
Backfit Clinic is a spinal health clinic with three separate ownership teams, five chiropractors (Dr. Jeff Bartlett, Dr. Craig Bentham, Dr. Marissa Bentham, Dr. Randy Doyle, and Dr. Greg Eisert), and 15 technicians and administrators.
Backfit first opened in May 2007 at the corner of Borden Street and McKenzie Avenue and over the next nine years, it “grew out of the building,” says Jeff Bartlett.
Its lack of natural light and space made it difficult to accomplish Backfit’s current and future goals, he says
Looking for a new home, Backfit purchased, renovated and moved its business into the vacant Bank of Montreal building at 3481 Cook St. over the course of a year-and-a-half. With this move, Backfit now operates at one of the most prominent locations in the Greater Victoria area, an important consideration.
“We do have people, who travel from all over Greater Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula, the West Shore, (Oak Bay), who came to us,” says Marissa Bentham.
“If you looked at a map of Greater Victoria, this is basically the centre of Greater Victoria,” says Craig Bentham.
In fact, Backfit was benefitting from the high visibility of its new location, even while it was still operating out of its old location.
“People would always ask, ‘oh, we see your new building. When is it ready?’ says Jason Prescott, Backfit’s clinical director. “So it is obviously a well-travelled intersection here. I thought the location was a no-brainer.”
Yet perhaps contrary to the popular aphorism, location alone does not guarantee success and Backfit’s partners used the company’s transitional period to also update its mission statement.
It now reads as follows: “Transforming as many lives from pains and pills, to performance and prevention.”
Backfit’s new building reflects this evolution.
Eager to expand the concept of back care, Craig Bentham says he and his colleagues reflected on the nature of health. “And so we discovered that you need four things to be healthy for the rest of your life.
“We need good nutrition, we need good exercise, we need a healthy mind, and we need a healthy spine and nervous system, because our spine and nervous system controls everything in our body. So we looked at creating a building that can accommodate those four aspects.”
So Backfit, he says, is more than just a spinal health clinic. In addition to receiving care for their back and spine, clients will also be able to exercise in a fitness studio, as well as receive nutritional and stress management advice.
Health and wellness, says Marissa Bentham, is a community endeavor.
“We wanted to create a space that would really inspire people in the pursuit of better health, a space where people could come together, and not only be empowered through knowledge but also be given the tools to pursue better health and wellness,” she says.
Craig Bentham says the new location has already met, if not exceeded, expectations.
“We are already as busy, as we thought, if not busier,” he says.
The new building also marks an evolution for the area. Once a hub of activity, it had fallen on hard times in past years. But developments such as Backfit’s move into the neighbourhood point towards a revitalization.
The renovations improved sidewalks along Cook Street, Clovelly Terrance and Cobb Lane and added other amenities.
“It feels good to add that to the community,” says Craig Bentham.