By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Nov 18, 2019 at 4:06 PM

Alexander Hagler and Joseph Ferch recently opened Center Street Wellness, 2701 N. Martin Luther King Dr., a small, independent business offering retail products, classes and a cafe to promote healthy living.

"We want to make wellness more accessible and culturally relevant. We hope to de-stigmatize wellness as elitist and unaffordable and to contribute to the creation of a new wellness culture here in Milwaukee," says Hagler.

Center Street Wellness partnered with other local wellness practitioners and makers of wellness products such as Alice's Garden, Heal + Glow Yoga, B'Moved Healing Therapies, Satori Food Project, Indigo Soaps, Sacred Love Yoni Steaming and Wellness, and The Sunday Standard.

"Our shelves are becoming a collective of all things wellness in Milwaukee," says Hagler.

In an adjoining space, Center Street Wellness hosts yoga, Neuromuscular Integrative Action (NIA) therapy, group fitness classes and other community events.

The cafe serves local tea including Rishi and Kickapoo Coffee out of Viroqua.

"We are only the second location in Milwaukee other than their Third Ward cafe," says Hagler.

The space is clean and natural with wood floors, large windows, plants and an overall good vibe. The merchandise is well selected and organized and the small cafe is welcoming. Center Street Wellness has every reason to succeed – as long as Milwaukeeans support it.

The business partners met in college where they realized they shared a passion for business and social welfare.

After graduating from UWM with a degree in Urban Studies, Hagler went on to work for Victory Garden Initiative and Groundwork Milwaukee as a community organizer and youth educator around issues of food security, environmental stewardship, and youth development. Currently, he is also the wrestling coach for Pulaski High School.

"Wrestling is one of the best tools for youth development as it impacts young people's lives on both a physical and social-emotional level," says Hagler.

Ferch received his degree in Global Studies. Originally from a small island off the coast of Africa called São Somé and Príncipe, Ferch grew up with missionary parents who taught him values of compassion and servitude.

"We both have a passion to increase the quality of life for ourselves as well as the Milwaukee community, and more pointedly the Bronzeville / Harambee community where we have needed such resources for a while now," says Hagler.  

Center Street Wellness is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Like the business on Facebook.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.