Topp Performance owner Jesse Topp (left) with friend and Topp Performance trainer, Cole Learn, in the gym’s personal training room, June 25, in Maple Square Mall.

Hub Staff

Since opening its doors in Maple Square Mall last Fall, Topp Performance has grown in clientele as well as space, expanding from one room to four, each room dedicated to a specific practice. Owner, Jesse Topp, had a successful appearance at the Saugeen Economic Development Corporation’s Hawks’ Nest in June, a competition that is fashioned after CBC’s Dragons’ Den.

Organizers said Topp received $9,000 of the total $53,000 that was awarded to seven entrepreneurs in the form of donations, loans, grants and partnerships. Topp was also granted the People’s Choice Award, giving him an additional $930, a set number of business consulting hours from BDO and free advertising from Bayshore Broadcasting.

With the success, Topp, alongside partners Cole Learn and Sara Banville, will work toward creating free 1-year memberships for youth who would otherwise not be able to afford it. The Port Elgin gym has been drawing all ages through its doors for martial arts training and specializes in Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, and Judo. As well, Tops offers youth camps, weight training, personal training sessions and nutritional services.

“It’s amazing,” said Topp of his recent Hawks’ Nest win. Having participated in the Business to Bruce program to get his business off the ground, he said entering the Hawks’ Nest was the next step in growing his business.

Topp said he and his team members are currently working out a procedure to ensure the the youth memberships go toward those who need it most and said it’s their way of “giving back to the community.”

He credits his success to partner Sara Banville, who provides nutrition programming and administrative work, and longtime friend Cole Learn, who teaches classes and personal training. “Different strengths make up a good team,” said Topp.

Cole Learn said that since September he's gone from teaching seven or eight clients totalling 15 personal training sessions a week to training over 50 clients as well as group training classes. Their youth camps expanded from two to four days.

Learn said that youth programming includes a mix of body weight training to outdoor obstacle courses, and agility training. “We kinda cover the basics of nutrition with them, we do a little bit of weights with them like kettle bells,” he explained, adding that they don’t get into any heavy lifts with youth but slowly progress their skills.

The trainer said they hope to continue to grow and help as many people as possible. “Just by really helping the community in any way we can,” he said.


Topp Performance team member Sara Banville. Photo submitted

pain cave

One of the training rooms operated by Topp Performance in Maple Square Mall is whimsically called the “Pain Cave.”

martial arts

Topp Performance hosts a variety of martial arts classes in the upper portion of Maple Square Mall.