Several months ago two fitness centers in the downtown area moved out, one changing locations to the Milford Business Park and the other closing their doors. In response, fitness enthusiasts have been searching for alternative sites and members of other gyms have shared concerns that their own gyms have become overcrowded. Recognizing an underserved market in the Milford area, owners of Abbott’s Grill, Kevin Reading and Laura Burton, have decided to open a new gym two doors down from their restaurant in the Riverwalk Center at Milford.
The discussion to start a gym in downtown Milford began between Reading and Burton after the gym they attended next door to the restaurant closed. Burton, a fitness instructor for over 25 years, had taught at the location for over three years and had the desire to once again provide instruction through fitness classes. Recognizing a need in the local community, they took a tour of the building and decided that they would once again call upon their entrepreneurial spirit to open another business in Milford. Demonstrating their ability to successfully build a business from the ground up several times, the pair decided to bring on board personal trainer Steve Shane to drive the new venture and run the daily operations.
“I attended one of the bootcamps that Steve ran and I knew by watching him that he was exactly what we needed,” said Burton. “He is so versatile with each individual he works with, whether they are a high school athlete or retiree. He motivates them individually and understands their needs.”
A licensed personal trainer for three years and a Business Administration graduate from Delaware Tech, Shane decided to focus full-time on his own health after he was in a car accident in 2004. As he began to work through his rehabilitation, he gained respect for the professionals helping with his recovery and decided that he wanted to help others. At the new location, he envisions more than “just a gym that opens and closes their doors” but a holistic approach to health that includes education.
“So many times I have seen that gyms get caught up in the daily routine of just being a gym,” said Shane. “We will offer a gym that includes education and resources for our members and a place that builds the overall health of the community.”
As entrepreneurs, Reading and Burton have created Abbott’s as a restaurant that is unique and community-minded; they intend to do the same with the new gym. They are currently interviewing instructors for classes including Spinning, Zumba, Yoga and bootcamp and state that they are looking to move towards a facility with 24/7 access for members. A lounge area will offer juices and healthy food from Abbott’s Grill chefs and members will become a proactive part of how the future of the gym grows.
“We will have a very proactive approach to serving our members with a wide range of classes and education as we have a focus on mind and body,” said Reading. “We are looking to engage community partners and provide for an overall healthier community.”
Reading states that the projected open date is December 1, 2014 as the group hopes to open in time to help families stay healthy during the holiday season and into the new year. Still searching for something to call the new business, Reading, Burton and Shane are asking Milford residents to help them name the facility. Individuals with ideas are encouraged to visit Abbott’s Grill, located 249 NE Front Street in downtown Milford, and talk with Laura and Kevin about the ideas for the new gym.