Spirits, meet the spiritual.
That’s a shorthand version of a business plan that Isaiah and DeAnna King hope will be a twofold path to both enlightenment and enrichment in downtown Bowling Green.
The couple – he a veteran, award-winning brewer of craft beers and she an experienced yoga instructor – are working to transform a building once used as an automobile dealership and as a feed store into a bifurcated business that should allow both partners to pursue their passions.
Renovation has already begun on a portion of the 9,000-square-foot building at 302 State St. that the Kings are leasing and want to reconfigure into Gasper Brewing Co. and Saffron Yoga.
The thought of such a business combo might seem enough to contort your brain into the equivalent of the Tripod Headstand with Lotus Legs pose, but the owners say this is a marriage made in nirvana.
“A lot of people who do yoga are into craft beers,” DeAnna King explained. “We’ve noticed this by being around each other’s friends. The communities overlap a little bit.”
They’ll overlap a bit more when the Kings get their enterprise up and running next spring.
Using 5,000 square feet of the building that once housed a Nash Motors dealership, the Kings plan to have two yoga rooms, a brewery and taproom. They hope to expand into the building’s other 4,000 square feet in the future.
Having his own brewery is a longtime dream for Isaiah King, an Owensboro native who has been dabbling in craft beer brewing as a hobby for a dozen years.
An engineer who has worked in Colorado and Alabama before settling back in Kentucky in 2015, King mostly did home brewing and gave his ales and stouts away to friends and family before success at this year’s Kentucky Craft Beer Festival in Elizabethtown convinced him that brewing could be more than a hobby.
He took first place in the festival’s brewing competition with an Irish oatmeal imperial stout and won second place for his California coffee beer.
“That was validation,” said Isaiah King, 42. “That contest was blind taste-tested by industry experts. I had goose bumps when they announced that I had won.”
Those goose bumps gave King the confidence he needed to launch Gasper Brewing, so named because King said he “spent a lot of time on the north bank of the Gasper River” as a teenager.
For now, he will just dip his toe in the enterprise named for that river. King, who will continue working at Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel, said he plans to be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from noon until 10 p.m. Saturday initially.
Eventually, he plans to have “four or five” employees at the brewery and include an outdoor beer garden and live entertainment.
Likewise, DeAnna King has big plans for her part of the business. The 39-year-old has studied or taught yoga since her college days and has most recently been teaching at Be Happy Yoga and Salt Cave and at Bowling Green Athletic Club.
She plans to take her instruction to a new level when she opens Saffron Yoga. Already an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200-hour training level, King plans to spend a month in India learning more techniques and eventually earn the 500-hour certification that will allow her to conduct continuing education for other yoga instructors.
“India is the best place to go for training,” DeAnna King said. “Our yoga (in the U.S.) is more about fitness, but the mindfulness meditation practices are a big part of yoga that is sometimes forgotten.”
King said she intends to incorporate the Vedic texts and other spiritual aspects of yoga.
“The mindfulness part of yoga helps you work on your everyday needs,” she said. “My goal is to bring a high-quality yoga practice into this area. Yoga can help lift your spirits and help you find your purpose in life.”
The Kings, who met in 2012 and married the next year, have found their purpose: to play a role in revitalizing part of downtown Bowling Green.
“We want to try to pull more businesses toward the Shake Rag District and help that area,” DeAnna King said.
Isaiah King, who is funding the renovation largely through the couple’s own savings and through a crowd-funding campaign, expects Gasper Brewing and Saffron Yoga to be open in March.
– More information can be found on the gasperbrewing.com website.