In the spirit of Valentine’s Day this month, we want to celebrate and recognize couples who work together in business everyday.
Meet Allison and Matt from BENCHMARK Fitness!
- How did you both meet?
We met at work! We both worked for the same luxury automotive company, Pfaff. Matt is in sales and I worked in the Marketing department.
- Why did you start working/open your business together?
The opportunity to buy the Gym on Pearl (the previous gym name) presented itself well over a year ago, and we immediately saw the value in the opportunity as we were members of the gym since buying our house downtown Burlington. We absolutely love the downtown Burlington community. We felt that we could enhance the gym and gym experience to be even better than it already was and that it was an opportunity to connect with our downtown community on an even greater scale.
3. Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your business. (i.e. What is your unique offering?)
Alli – I was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB. Growing up I was a dancer and dedicated to musical theatre and the arts. I moved to Toronto at the age of 18 to attend Ryerson University for Fashion Communications. My passion for health + fitness developed after my brother passed away, as a positive way to work through the loss. I did my Personal Trainer certification while working corporate and started coaching group fitness in the early mornings and weekends, knowing that eventually I would do something bigger with fitness. I also really love the community that exists downtown Burlington so the opportunity to be a part of the business culture down here was a dream come true!
Outside of the gym, I love to travel, swim, read, workout and sip wine while I watch Matt create masterpieces in the kitchen.
Matt – I was born and raised in Oakville, ON. Athletics has always played a big part in my life and when an opportunity came to incorporate it within my career, I felt it was a natural fit.
Outside of the gym, I love to spend as much time as we can with friends and family, our 2 dogs (Molly + Sadie- you may see them at the Centro Farmer’s Market on Sundays), cheering on Toronto Sports teams and expanding and learning on anything I can in the kitchen.
At BENCHMARK, we’re more than just a gym. We’re bar setters and go getters.
We are passionate about inspiring our members to live their best and happiest lives- moving your body, eating well, getting fresh air and socializing with like-minded people in your community.
When we bought the gym one of the first things we did was map out our core values for our business, the first one being COMMUNITY. We are extremely motivated to create a feeling of community within our gym- knowing people’s names, what they do, what goals they’re working towards, how we can help them.
We want people to love coming to the gym!
- When did you open your business in Downtown Burlington?
We took ownership of the gym on June 1st, 2019!
- What made you choose Downtown Burlington?
Because downtown Burlington is the BEST!
Downtown Burlington has naturally always felt like a family and all of current small business owners have each others’ backs, which we absolutely love. The connection and support for one another is infectious and we’re grateful to be apart of it.
- What other downtown businesses do you frequent and do business with?
Alli – I work closely with Styled Lounge and Kinetic Physiotherapy.
I also love that our neighbor is Anise Apothecary as I shop there for all things natural beauty and home products- laundry detergent, bath salts, scrubs, hand soap, chocolate, gifts and natural make up.
Matt – New York New York is my go to spot because they’re more than just a grooming lounge.
They provide a great space to socialize and feel like you’re a larger part of the community.
We frequent Tamp Coffee on the daily, Kelly’s bake shoppe, the LCBO (love visiting Bella for new wine recommendations!), we’re loving the newest restaurant to hit the block Elevator, F45 Downtown (love supporting our local fit fam!) and our favourite home store Centro Garden (which is more than just a store- they are an anchor when it comes to community creation!).
- If you had a piece of advice for other couples starting a business together, to help them succeed, what would it be?
Start with a passion- if you do something you love and truly believe in, it will show through your business. We work as a team but definitely have our own strengths. Don’t be afraid to lean on each other but believe that your combined individual strengths is what will help set you apart from everyone else.
We’re also big fans of celebrating your small wins and growth- this is important!
- Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions?
We love staying home! Matt will cook dinner, jazz playing in the background, opening a nice bottle of wine and staying cozy at home with our dogs.