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Spotlight on New Iberia’s Fremin Plaza

Fremin Plaza is Your One-stop Wellness Destination

Hub of Health

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You’re on a wellness journey, and you’ve made your to-do list for the day: work out, get a massage, go to PT, pick up nutritious food for the week, and take in a pilates class. Whew. That’s a lot! No worries. There’s a shopping center in New Iberia where you can do all that – in one stop.

Fremin Plaza has become a go-to destination for all things wellness in Acadiana, as it’s been adding businesses, one by one, to its tenant list that are providing needed services for the health-conscious crowd. We caught up with Core Physical Therapy & Pilates, Body Symmetrics Massage Therapy, FameFit Factory, and Fit & Fresh Meals to learn a little about the services they provide and how they not only compliment each other, but also the wellness goals of their clients.


Core Physical Therapy and Pilates

The current trend in health-centric businesses at Fremin Plaza is no surprise to Dusti Fremin Neck, who has been operating Core Physical Therapy and Pilates out of the family-owned shopping center for 13 years. “I’m seeing so many wonderful businesses that are all around me that all contribute to the wellness aspect,” she says. Neck is a certified pilates instructor and provides services in injury prevention, education, PT for wellness, and maintenance. She holds pilates classes (by appointment only) one-on-one or in groups.

“There are so many health benefits we get from pilates: flexibility, range of motion, core strength, balance, breathing, acuity, oxygen exchange,” she says. “In pilates, we’re trying to get oxygenated blood throughout the system. A mover’s joints will be lubricated better, they’ll have more energy, they’ll have a better oxygen supply. Then the body as a machine starts to work better. It becomes well-oiled, and there are no breaks in the machinery.”

Neck says her pilates clients represent a wide range of age and fitness levels. “We can change the spring tension on the machines to change the physics, making it easier or more challenging, depending on their needs,” she explains. The key is whether the client can continue to hold the correct form while doing the exercise. “It’s subtle,” she says. “The strength is from inside your core and getting the right muscle recruitment to stabilize in some areas, while other areas are still moving.”


Body Symmetrics Massage Therapy

New Iberia native Jud Kilgore has been in the business of therapeutic massage for nearly 20 years, and Body Symmetrics has been in Fremin Plaza since opening over 11 years ago. “I do a lot of pain management, therapeutic work. If someone is having a particular pain issue – neck problem, back problem, specific problem areas – they’ll contact me,” he says. “You have your weekend warrior that pulls a muscle, who will come in once or twice and get it taken care of, and the people who have a more chronic problem that’s been bothering them for months or years that we’ll put on a treatment plan,” he explains.

Kilgore’s focus is the soft tissue of his clients, using manual, hands-on therapy to find adhesions and tough spots. He works with other practitioners, including many in Fremin Plaza, to help clients with pain or tightness. “They’ll send me someone to loosen them up, so they can continue their work with them,” he explains.

Speaking of soft tissue, Kilgore offers a popular aesthetic service, as well. “This machine kills fat,” he says, pointing to his Cryoskin 3.0 machine, the only one of its kind in Acadiana. “It uses cold and heat to pop fat cells, and your body gets rid of it through your lymphatic system,” he explains. “It helps with cellulite and crepey, loose skin by helping your body produce more collagen and elastin.”


FameFit Factory

Having a fun, safe place to work out and get professional fitness support is important to health-conscious people, so FameFit Factory owners and personal trainers Joshua Sonnier and Megan Weisz opened their gym with that in mind. “It’s the atmosphere that attracts our clients,” Sonnier says. “It looks different, more L.A.”

FameFit gets its name from the acronym Forget All My Excuses. “Trainers can only do so much,” he says. “Once you leave here, it’s all about how bad you want it. And the ones that do get the results, listen to us.” He recalls one of his previous clients, who was blind and deaf. “He’s got every excuse in the book and he’s never let it stop him.”

Sonnier and Weisz train athletes from area schools, but their client list also includes people in their seventies and every age in between. While memberships can be purchased for use of the machines and weights at the facility (the gym is open every day and accessed via electronic key fob), many also opt for bootcamp memberships. Sessions are held in virtual darkness, with only the colored LED lights pulsating to the beat of the music. “It’s like a nightclub atmosphere in here,” Sonnier says. “They feel like nobody’s watching them or judging them and they’re less self-conscious.” Bootcamp, he says, is “intense,” but people can go at their own pace. “It takes time, but if you do it right, you’ll do it a lot quicker.”


Fit & Fresh Meals

Readers will recognize Terrence Etienne, owner of Fit & Fresh Meals. He was the subject of our August Meet Me on Main feature, but this month he’s moving his growing operation to Fremin Plaza. “The new location will be so much more convenient for people, and the people driving by will see that we are here,” Etienne tells us.

Each week Etienne plans and cooks a new menu of items, including options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With a concentration on the right mix of protein (choice of 4 or 8 ounces), carbohydrates and healthy fats, his meals run the gamut from Cajun to Jamaican and Mexican to Asian. In addition to a grab-and-go refrigerator filled with various options (head up: these go fast!) meals can be pre-purchased in a variety of bundles, like the “5 Day Meal Prep,” which includes 15 meals: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners. He also offers a range of healthy sweet treats, like protein bites and cheesecakes, from The Refined Panry. Fit & Fresh is certified with Eat Fit Acadiana, a part of the Ochsner Eat Fit family. The program highlights chefs and businesses that offer nutritious meals for people needing to manage diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol or weight.

Etienne says he’s looking forward to serving his existing clients in the new location and hopes he’ll have the opportunity to meet new ones, as well.

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