One of the very special and unique aspects of our west-side community is getting to know our neighbors, not just as friendly faces on the street, but also as savvy and successful business owners right downtown. One of these “I have a three minute walking commute” boutique shop owners is Courtney Cruey, owner of Beyond Active on East Prospect.
Courtney and her husband, John Cruey, met over twenty years ago, as freshmen in high school. Though they were merely good friends in school, moving away from each other actually brought them even closer together, and in December of 2001, at the beginning of their freshmen years in college, they finally began to date!
John attended Silicon Valley College, where he earned a BS in IT Networking. According to Courtney, “John has always had a drive to be successful and hustle. While in college [he] performed every odd job you could imagine. He worked for Knockout Lockouts, the janitor at Silicon Valley College and even a small tech company [that] ran out of a warehouse in Oakland.” Right out of college, John was hired by a tech company in Walnut Creek called Danz, now known as EMC. Not long after the acquisition, John was moved from tech to sales and then pursued his Master’s Degree through the University of Phoenix. He is now an accounts manager at Pure Storage, and his family is very proud of his record-breaking success at the company.
Courtney first left to attend Butte College in Chico before realizing that she wanted to pursue a trade career. “I entered the dental field in 2003 and helped open and build a brand new practice in Pleasant Hill called Smile Design. From there I went on to earn my AS in Allied Health, while working in a cosmetic dental practice in Palo Alto.” After working thirteen years as a dental assistant, Courtney left her career and stepped into a different full-time role – mom!
The Cruey kids are Madelyn (6), Jax (5), and Maisyn (2.5). Madelyn loves tumbling, dancing, and singing. She just finished her first year cheerleading at Nor Cal Elite. Jax, or “The Mayor” as his parents lovingly call him, thanks to his outgoing personality and ability to connect with everyone, started doing Jiu Jitsu and is loving it. Maisyn is preparing to start pre-school this summer. All three kids love traveling, visiting with relatives, and of course, Disneyland.
Courtney’s other “baby”, Beyond Active, was born from a joint business venture with a friend, originally called “Bay Area Fitwear.” She says, “I took my love of fitness, activewear and meeting ladies to the next level.” Beyond Active started as the “speakeasy of fitness wear,” operating out of a storage closet/showroom and is now based out of a beautiful building on East Prospect Ave, with a fantastic outdoor space, known as “The Backyard” – “A place we are hoping to open up to the community and families….My plan is to throw a big ‘We Made It’ party at Beyond Active’s backyard!”
For the Cruey family, it only makes sense to incorporate their love of the outdoors into everything they do. “We have owned multiple RVs and trailers. We call ourselves the Cruwalds when we travel. It’s always a mess but fun!!” Each summer they spend a few weeks in Tetonia, Idaho, along the Grand Teton mountains. From there it’s a short drive across the Wyoming border to Jackson Hole where John is originally from.
The Crueys also love to attend music festivals together. John comes from a huge musical family. He plays the stand up bass, guitar, and harmonica. John’s mother, Jill Cruey, co-founded and played in the bluegrass group, the Alhambra Valley Band for over 35 years. As a child, John was a star in her kid shows, aptly titled “Just Kidding.” They played at libraries and schools all over the Bay Area. Although the family had to put off a trip to Paris this spring to celebrate John’s career milestone, they are planning a trip to France next summer to visit Courtney’s mother.
Last year the Crueys upped the amount of time spent in their 28 foot RV, and actually lived in it while their house was being fully renovated. Their home on Mariposa Court is a perfect combination of everything they were looking for when they first moved to Danville. “We have lived in Danville for 6 years and in our new home for 4 years. When we discovered Danville, we had been living in Oakland. When I became pregnant with our first [daughter], we decided it was time to find that community, the one where we could raise our family and feel safe!” Now they have a home their kids can grow up in that’s fully walkable to all the amenities that downtown has to offer.
As a local business owner, Courtney has obviously been impacted by the various orders we’ve all been living under for the last several weeks. With that aside, she says, “Being able to own a small business in this community has been great… Though we are going through tough times with COVID-19, I hope that we are able to make it through and continue to support our town. Everyone here has been doing a great job supporting local businesses through this tough time.”
By Alexandra Sullivan, Resident since 2017