Justin Bellas has been on an amazing rollercoaster ride at World Gym Burpengary for the past three months – and it is showing no signs of slowing down.
“To be honest I’m struggling to keep up with it all!” he jokes.
In March, the club general manager lost 98 per cent of business income and had to lay-off 70 per cent of staff when COVID-19 forced the Station Rd gym to close its doors.
Today, he is working seven days a week on the gym, which was one of the first to reopen 24/7 – and a fresh meals business, born during the shutdown and growing fast.
The shutdown, which saw only the World Gym Barbell Café remain open, actually gave Justin the time he needed to concentrate on a project he started three years ago.
“I’d been working on the food side of the business in the background,” he says, “but the closure of the gym was really the catalyst. I was able to put 100 per cent effort into it,” Justin says.
Raw Power Meals was launched offering subscriptions for seven nutritional home-delivered meals a week, with macros counted for each to cater for those looking to lose weight, gain muscle, people who are vegan, children and more.
Four more gyms are currently waiting to join that list, says Justin, who has already hired a new chef, is looking to employ another and possibly lease a new commercial kitchen in the area.
“The key was we stayed connected with customers during the shutdown,” says Justin. “Having the café open and delivering meals definitely helped us do that. We were one of the first gyms to go 24-7 when the restrictions lifted. We took on additional staff to give customers more opportunity to use the gym and it has paid off,” he says.
“Now I’m talking to the State Government about its Back to Work programs, which helps new businesses employ someone who is not working at the moment.”
“During the shutdown I really wanted to keep staff employed and though it is still early days, from that a potentially successful business has been born.”
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