Mainsail Partners Invests in Fitness Pioneer, The Bar Method

Mainsail Partners Invests In The Bar Method
August 22, 2012 Mainsail Partners

San Francisco, CA (August 22, 2012) – The Bar Method ™, a leader in barre-based exercise, today announced an equity investment from Mainsail Partners to support the rapid growth of its franchise system and to help the company’s current franchisees continue to deliver a superior experience to their students.

Mainsail, a San Francisco growth equity firm focused on backing “bootstrapped” companies, is the sole Series A investor in the business founded by Burr Leonard, who will continue as Bar Method CEO. Some of the investment will be used to buy out Leonard’s co-founder, Carl Diehl, while the
remaining capital will be deployed to support initiatives to accelerate growth and optimize the performance of the business. The Bar Method and its franchisees operate more than 60 exercise studios in the United States and Canada and sell branded fitness apparel, exercise equipment and home-workout DVDs.

“I am thrilled to announce our partnership with Mainsail,” said Leonard. “Our number one priority has always been delivering the highest-quality, safest and most effective barre-based program to our students and instructors. Mainsail is the ideal partner to help us grow our company while maintaining the level of quality and excellence our students, teachers and franchise partners have come to expect from The Bar Method.”

The Bar Method is a non-impact exercise system that creates uniquely lean, firm, sculpted bodies. It also places special emphasis on the safety of its exercises, which Burr developed in consultation with physical therapists. Its blend of intense strength work, attention to good body alignment and exceptional teaching has created a devoted following among its students and home workout DVD users. The exercise system is appropriate for a wide age range and a variety of body types. The exercises can also be specifically modified to meet the needs of the clients including pregnant women. The Bar Method studio locations are known for the warm, friendly communities created within the boutique, spa-like atmospheres distinctive to each location. Clients especially appreciate the individual attention received in and out of the exercise room, incorporating The Bar Method into their lifestyle. Celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Zooey Deschanel, Anna Paquin, Alicia Silverstone and Ricki Lake attest to its quick and effective results.

“Burr and her team have done an amazing job creating a great product and building the most recognized and respected brand in the booming category of barre-based fitness,” said Gavin Turner, a founding partner at Mainsail. “Two factors really stood out for us as we considered this investment. First, we were impressed with Burr’s vision for the business and commitment to excellence. Second, we were in awe of the passion The Bar Method students have for the program. We are excited to build on this foundation to help Burr and her team create a world-class company and extend their market leadership.” Mainsail is an investor in another successful franchise business, the San Jose, CA-based Togo’s sandwich chain, and several other high growth businesses. Mainsail and Leonard plan to accelerate Bar Method’s growth through expansion of the franchise system in the United States and internationally and by continually innovating upon the technique created by

About The Bar Method
The Bar Method, founded by Burr Leonard, is an industry leader in the rapidly growing barre-based fitness niche. Leonard and her former partner, Carl Diehl, built four successful barre-based studios in Connecticut as licensees of the Lotte Berk Method before opening their first Bar Method studio in San Francisco in 2001 where the company is also headquartered. Bar Method franchisees are drawn to the quality of the workout and infrastructure the business model provides. Today there are 60+ locations throughout the US and in Canada with many more in development. The Bar Method also produces and sells home-workout DVDs, exercise equipment, and apparel. For more information, please visit

About Mainsail Partners
Mainsail Partners is a leading growth equity firm that invests in successful “bootstrapped” businesses and builds them into great companies. Mainsail, based in San Francisco, makes a select number of investments each year and leverages the operational expertise of its team to add value to its portfolio companies. Three of Mainsail’s portfolio companies were ranked on the 2011 Inc. 500|5000 list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S. For more information, please visit