Since taking over the chiropractic practice of the late Terry Field in August 2015, life has been extremely busy for Monique and Ben Bruce. In addition to buying the practice, and building a new house there is the delightful addition of baby Sebastian.
A martial arts injury at age 15 that was treated by a local chiropractor was Ben’s introduction to chiropractic. It made such a difference to him that he decided to pursue it as a career. After finishing school at Wairarapa College he moved to Auckland, studying at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic for five years then set up two successful practices over the next ten years.
When Ben married Monique in February 2015 his aunt and uncle from the Wairarapa came to the wedding and mentioned that Terry Field, from Field Chiropractic Clinic, was looking at retiring and perhaps they might be interested in buying his business.
Terry knew Ben’s family and when the couple suggested that they wanted to move back home and start a family he knew they were the right people to take over the practice and from ‘good stock’. “The decision to move back to the Wairarapa just ‘felt right’. Having grown up here the opportunity to take over a business that had been going for over 30 years with such a great reputation and the fact that we wanted to start a family and have the support of our family here, just all made sense,” said Ben.
Before buying the practice in August 2015, there was a transition period in which they spent two weeks with Terry introducing them to several of his patients and giving Ben his seal of approval. “Terry put so much of his life into the practice and he wanted to be sure that someone he trusted would continue on with his legacy,” said Monique.
Initially it was just Ben and Monique running the practice for the first few months, putting in very long hours to establish themselves in the business with Monique using her management and HR skills to develop the practical side of the business. Their enthusiasm has put a breath of fresh air into the practice, and once the word got out about the new chiropractor they were inundated with people, excited about their new ideas, philosophies and modern approach.
They have since rebranded and renovated the clinic to include extra consultation rooms and expanded the waiting room area which now includes a separate kids’ area, where mums can also breast-feed. Just over a year ago Grace Southey joined them on a part-time basis and became full time some months later. Since the arrival of Ben and Monique’s baby Sebastian in September 2016, Grace has taken over Monique’s duties as practice manager, along with two assistants while the practice has continued to expand with two additional chiropractors, David Bushell from Taranaki and Jo-anne Twiggins from Auckland.
After running a practice in Australia, David is happy to be back in New Zealand and enjoying the Wairarapa as his new home. Ben has known Jo-anne for many years and in Auckland he did locum work for her when she was on maternity leave and vice versa when Ben went away on holidays. “There is fantastic rapport between the three of us and we work very well together,” said Ben.
Sadly Terry Field passed away in 2016 but Ben and his team continue his legacy and continue to build relationships with existing and new clients to find out how they can incorporate chiropractic care as part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Life has been a bit of a roller coaster for the last 18 months and with the birth of baby Sebastian, Ben has taken a bit of a back step so that he can enjoy the first few months with his son. “So often I hear friends and clients saying how they wished they could have taken more time out when their children were little, so that’s what I’m trying to do,” he said.
“With David and Jo-anne here we can share the work load. After all, we came here for the lifestyle and to be with family; now it’s all fallen into place and we have not looked back,” said Monique. “We are here for the long haul and feel it’s a win for us getting this amazing head start, it’s a win for Terry as we are continuing his legacy, and it’s a win for this community.”