Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2020 issue.
It’s clear when you meet Madeleine Hasulak that passion and drive are two things she has never lacked. Her bright, brown eyes sparkle with excitement; she speaks with clarity and precision about her vision; her energy vibrates and buzzes, feeling quite contagious in the best way possible.
Just several months ago she was standing in the middle of her new Tonic Method studio in Edwards, Colorado, juggling her 10-month-old son Ethan and watching husband Alex Hasulak balance on a ladder adjusting a speaker. “Isn’t this space stunning? We’re so close!” she exclaimed.
Madeleine opened the doors to this second Tonic Method Pilates studio location in January 2020, after opening her first studio in Aspen — while six months pregnant — in December of 2018. The boutique studio features eight custom reformer Pilates machines and her proprietary program that zeros in on breath, posture, muscle focus, alignment and core strength. The word tonic is defined as “something that invigorates, refreshes or restores,” and Madeleine guarantees that her 45-minute workout will do just that for you, as well as strengthen, tone and sculpt all major muscle groups with low impact.
With a background in Pilates, nutrition and fitness, Madeleine aims for holistic longevity in mind. “I developed Tonic Method to combine Pilates, strength training, high intensity interval training and mindful movement into one incredible workout to support longevity in your life through functional movement that also complements your favorite outdoor activities,” she says.
Madeleine and Alex are no strangers to the world of entrepreneurship; they met at the University of Denver, and after seeing the popularity of her mom’s homemade granola recipe take off with friends and classmates, the two launched Love Grown in 2009. As one of the first natural breakfast food companies on the market, a deal with Kroger in 2010 propelled them to the big leagues, allowing the Hasulaks to share their passion for nutrition through organic and natural foods in the most important meal of the day.
“I think that Love Grown catapulted us to something we didn’t originally see coming, and we had to go big or go home. We dropped everything we had planned for ourselves, because how often does any company get that kind of opportunity? We went from one store to 80 stores in six months and then 1,300 stores in a year. It was nuts,” explains Madeleine.
In 2016, the couple was named in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, recognized in the food and drink segment for the impact that they were making. Love Grown was the first to introduce a bean-based cereal to shelves, proving that disruption is the best way to shake up a stale category in a massive industry.
“We realized that we had the opportunity to change the way people eat food, think about food and buy food,” she adds. “Love Grown may never be a Kraft or General Mills, but if we can get those guys to pay attention to what we’re doing and change some of the food that they are putting on the shelves, then we are winning.”
In 2017 they brought in a CEO from Post to take over day-to-day operations; Alex transitioned out to start an architecture firm with his father while Madeleine stayed on through the transition for a year and a half.
“I remember vividly having to choose between Pilates or Love Grown for the time being, and Alex really pushed me to understand the reach factor,” she says.
While extremely grateful that she has been able to impact the pantries of so many people and their health with Love Grown, Madeleine says she is ecstatic to return to her first love of Pilates and make a more intimate impact on a smaller scale. Alex continues working with the architecture firm, playing super dad to their son, Ethan, and exploring an opportunity on Colorado’s Front Range for a fast-casual concept that will continue with the theme of disruption and healthy eating.
We watched Ethan pull himself up to standing, while holding on to the Pilates machine and joked that it’s only a matter of time before he’s helping teach a few classes. Currently, Madeleine is holding down the class schedule at Tonic Method Vail Valley, while remotely managing the Aspen studio and enrolling new teachers in training for her proprietary method.
The family recently relocated to Edwards to support the opening of the new studio and allow for a shorter commute to the Front Range. When asked how they are doing with the transition of the businesses, parenthood and the move, Madeleine replies, “Of course it’s a lot, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! I just feel so grateful that my work can be tied into my passions, that way it doesn’t really feel like work.”
To find a schedule of classes for the Aspen and Vail Valley Tonic Method studios and get your first class for free, visit tonicmethod.com.
Studio photos courtesy of Tonic Method. Portraits by Brooke Casillas.