Finding Peace During COVID-19 at Mudita Yoga in Holladay
Carrie Coppola’s first time on a mat was transformative.
She was working as a prevention specialist at Cornerstone Counseling Center and going through a difficult personal time.
"Yoga found me," Carrie said. "I was feeling broken. The first time on a mat I felt a moment of peace — that in the middle of all I was going through that I’d be alright. … I knew I needed to come back to my mat.”
From there, Carrie found healing woven with yoga for both herself and others. She took yoga teacher training, and when she moved to part time in her old job, she decided to instruct in yoga. When the studio she taught at was closing its location, multiple people told her she should open her own studio.
And, she did.
Mudita Yoga, meaning sympathetic joy, operated near 3300 South and 1550 East for nine years. During that time, Carrie’s studio offered multiple classes each day ranging from one hour long to 75 minutes, from vinyasa flow and power down to core and restore. For nearly seven years, Carrie also held a free, specialized class — Yoga for Recovery. It was specifically geared toward recovering addicts.
Reaching a point of change, Mudita was set to hold a grand opening at a newer and much larger location in Holladay on April 1, 2020. The space was designed specifically for growing the yoga studio into a wellness center, with the goal of also providing massage therapy, community nutrition, trauma-informed yoga and healing, and therapy.
“People want that healing,” Carrie said. “I’d like to think we’re unique. We’re not afraid to welcome you as you are and be a place of healing.”
Unfortunately, COVID-19 spread in March, delaying the Studio’s anticipated opening and expansion, as well as its ability to increase revenue.
Ever resilient, Carrie moved to open virtually instead. Her team of instructors taught from home via Zoom. The change even allowed former customers, who now resided out of the area, to join for daily classes.
“It was a big leap,” she said. “There hasn’t been a moment that I wish we would’ve stayed [in our old space]. I don’t know if we’ll make it, but I’m showing up every day to keep the business going.”
In August, classes are available in-person with physical distancing, and the studio is trying to provide access to yoga in as safe an environment as possible. Classes are available online as well. Still, the Center’s current schedule is at 50% of its pre-COVID services.
Carrie applied for the Small Business Impact Grant (SBIG) during Round 1 in June 2020. Her application was approved and the grant provided the business with much-needed funds to help it remain open.
“We are all connected, and the pandemic shows this. Your actions affect so much outside your realm, you can’t even imagine. I’m hopeful we can come together and create a stronger community and a stronger world.”
To learn more about Mudita - Be Joy Yoga & Wellness Center, visit bejoyyoga.com.
If you’re a small business like Mudita - Be Joy Yoga & Wellness Center and have been impacted negatively by COVID-19, learn about the Small Business Impact Grant, and apply today at slco.org/covidgrants/.
Mimi’s Munchies Takes to the Roads Delivering Mexican-American Snacks
Mimi’s Munchies opened in late 2018 inside a Mexican restaurant in West Valley. Started by Armando Lopez, and his wife, it serves Hispanic desserts mashed with popular American candy – a trending concept in areas like Los Angeles.
The menu of treats includes items like Fresas Con Crema, with a twist by including a scoop of homemade Mexican ice cream – a recipe handed down by generations and made by Lopez’s mother-in-law. Mimi’s Cups are filled with scoops from the eight different ice cream flavors, fresh fruit, candy gummies, and drizzled with favorite Mexican spices like Chamoy, Tajin, or lime. It also offers customers a Build-Your-Own-Nachos with favorite chips like Doritos, Hot Cheetos Puffs, Takis and more, topped with queso and jalapenos.
One month after opening, Mimi’s Munchies was profitable. In November 2019, it left the rented space in the restaurant in search of its very own retail location. In the process of trying to secure a brick-and-mortar location, COVID-19 happened. Lopez had to pivot his plan for the business.
“It ended up being a blessing in disguise since natural traffic isn’t there now,” Lopez said.
Instead, Mimi’s Munchies found a temporary home in June 2020 with a virtual kitchen, operating the business off social media traffic (largely from Instagram). Customers can order from the snack business online through its website or on third-party delivery service like DoorDash. Mimi’s Munchies does in-house delivery for just the areas of Rose Park and Glendale.
That same month, a loyal-customer-turned-friend told Lopez about Salt Lake County’s Small Business Impact Grant, and he applied on June 16. After submitting his application and working with a grant program ambassador, he was notified his application was approved two weeks later and had the money by July.Mimi’s Munchies wasn’t immune to the impacts of COVID-19, but Lopez was committed to not cutting any of his six employees and got by in the short-term with reducing staff hours.
“The grant gave us breathing room,” Lopez said. “It was a cool experience and allows us to keep the lights on and give some work to our employees. At the end of August, we want to launch a food truck. If it wasn’t for the grant, my head would be in the kitchen every day.”
The goal to get a food truck will leverage the business’ social media following and allow it to be more accessible to customers in West Valley City and Taylorsville. From there, Lopez dreams of getting a second truck to serve part of Salt Lake City.