New era for Sudbury-based women-only gym and salon Alexandra's off to flying start after owner of 29 years hands baton to former clients
When the long-time owner of a women’s-only fitness studio and salon stepped away after almost 30 years in business, one of her regular clients decided it was too special a place not to continue.
Since relaunching Alexandra’s Health, Beauty and Fitness in April, once Covid-19 restrictions allowed, new owners Becky Warren and Becky Lee have enjoyed booming business, with 85 new members joining in the first month alone.
The pair took up the mantle during the most recent national lockdown, acquiring the gym in Alexandra Road from Wendy Bailey, who decided to retire in late 2020, having first established the business back in 1991.
During its period of closure, the facility underwent an interior makeover, while opening hours were also extended to cover every weekday, to allow more people in full-time employment to be able to drop in after work.
Mrs Warren, who previously worked as a college lecturer, told the Free Press: “It’s totally new territory for me.
“It has been a complete change, running my own gym, but, because we knew it was a really special place, we wanted it to carry on.
“I was a client at Alexandra’s and, unless you have been here and experienced it for yourself, you won’t see how special it is. It’s women only, and we’re all different shapes and sizes, but you’re all made to feel welcome.
“We are open for longer hours, which we had to do to make it viable. There’s now five times as many clients as there were. It has been booming.
“I think, for one, some people have put on a bit of weight over lockdown because they weren’t able to get out and want to get fit again, and also a lot of people have missed the social side of things. They come here to socialise as well as keep fit.”
Mrs Warren explained that her goal for Alexandra’s over the long term is to bring in more people of all ages and abilities, with a particular emphasis on helping those who struggle with exercise because of physical ailments.
The gym uses equipment such as Shapemasters – power-assisted toning tables aimed at older people – and Power Plates – a type of vibrating exercise platform – which she says have been effective for clients dealing with conditions such as asthma or rheumatoid arthritis.
“We’re aiming for accessibility for all,” she added. “We have equipment which works for people who feel like they can’t access a gym due to their ailments, because they can.
“People can come in here, do some exercise, have a chat and meet other people. If people are dealing with a bit of anxiety, it is really good for their wellbeing.”
In addition to the fitness studio, Alexandra’s also operates a beauty salon on site, with nails and hairdressing, in addition to a body shop and a coffee bar.
Opening times are from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 8pm, closing on weekends and bank holidays.
To get in touch with Alexandra’s, or for more information about the business’ offering, telephone 01787 370888.