Nathan Epler, left, with his family. Brad (dad), Sandy (grandma), Brett and Jacqueline Singer, (cousins), a friend of the Singers, Morris (grandpa), Kim (aunt) and Kristin (mom).
by Fred Shonk
Back in the days when I was a kid, most of the businesses that folks living on the Southside supported were owned by local folks. This was prior to the national organizations and even businesses with several locations in just Indiana moving into our area.
My father opened his service station located on Madison Avenue in 1956. I attended high school with many fellow students that had parents with local businesses. I’m so pleased to see that there are still local folks opening businesses on the Southside.
A few weeks ago, I received a call from Brad Epler. He introduced himself and explained that he was the son of Morris and Sandy Epler. I have known his parents for most of our lives. All three of us had families that owned and operated service stations on the Southside.
I rode Norwood Epler’s (Morris’ dad) school bus for several years.
The Epler family has a very strong connection with Perry Township. The original large Epler home, located just west of the Edgewood Grade School property, on Epler Avenue, has been owned by Perry Township for years and housed the township offices.
Brad Epler explained to me that his son, Nathan, was in the process of opening a new fitness and muscle development facility on the Southside. He gave me Nate’s number, so I called him and we made a plan to meet so I could learn more and see the facility.
The gym is located at 7747 Shelby Street. It is in a large strip mall on the east side of Shelby. I was very surprised at the size of his facility. I was told that this part of the mall had been sitting empty for about 10 years. It is about 23,000 square feet in size.
I sat down with Nate and he told me his story. He graduated from Greenwood High School in 2012. He was a wrestler in high school.
He graduated from UIndy in 2016 with a degree in Sports Management and Business.
After he finished college, Nate became involved in competitive body building. He won his first event in Evansville in 2019, then began traveling the country and competing. He won in Chicago. Six weeks later, he won in Las Vegas. He was second in Indianapolis and won in New York.
In 2019 he competed in the world championship and finished fifth. Fifth in the World! This is the world championship competition in which Arnold Schwarzenegger used to compete.
He started training and coaching in 2019. He has been planning to open a facility of this type for several years. Nate explained to me that a good friend of his has partnered with him and they are excited to get things going. This talented fellow is 28 years old.
The American Muscle Factory is very impressive and now open for business. You can learn lots more about this new locally owned business at amfindy.com or their Facebook page. The Epler family is back in business on the Southside.
Check out the new gym ...