Hardcore Fitness Inc.


CEOs: Larry and Nadia Nolan

BUSINESS: Ownership and management of fitness training centers.

2018 REVENUE: $5.3 Million



NOTABLE: The Nolans are professional athletes, competing for titles.

Growth: 287%

When Larry Nolan started Hardcore Fitness Inc. in 2007 as an outdoor boot camp, his only two clients were his then-girlfriend, now wife Nadia Nolan, and his mother, Vicky.

Since then, the Santa Clarita location has grown from a small 1,800-square-foot indoor facility to its current 11,000-square-foot flagship.

The key to the company’s success dates back to his earliest days in the venture, improving the workout experience for his customers. When the business was just getting off the ground, Nolan noticed that most other boot camps asked people to bring their own weights to training sessions. Instead of having people haul their own gear, he loaded up a U-Haul truck with weights and other gym equipment and provided it for his customers.

“A lot of people look at other businesses to mimic what they’re doing. But in my mind, I was thinking, ‘Where are they falling short and how I can offer more for my clients?’” Larry Nolan told the Business Journal in 2018.

Hardcore Fitness is not pitched at the average gym-goer but for accomplished exercisers and bodybuilders. As for the Nolans, they walk the walk, having competed in fitness and bodybuilding competitions.

Like the muscle mass of its customers, the company’s growth has rapidly expanded, with 17 franchised locations and about 200 employees. Going forward, the Nolans want to top 1,000 locations in the United States.

– Michael Aushenker


Lief Labs


CHIEF EXECUTIVE: Adel Villalobos

BUSINESS: Vitamin and dietary ingredient supplement manufacturer

2018 REVENUE: $50 Million



NOTABLE: Company plans to relocate – again – in the next six to eight months.

Growth: 257%

Valencia’s Lief Labs prides itself on a company culture that attracts the right talent to fuel its growth.

Lief is a relatively small player in the $40 billion-plus nutritional supplement industry, in which it manufactures for other brands. It has roughly 200 employees and $50 million in sales for 2018, but for Chief Executive Adel Villalobos, smallness gives him more room for innovation.

Location has helped the Valencia firm too. “Santa Clarita Valley has a nice mix of different skill sets required to run a manufacturing company that, at its core, is innovative,” he said.