A growing family adds a new business

  • Dan and Jessye Deane and their three children. The Bernardston natives have opened a fitness gym in Hadley called Function 45, the first Massachusetts franchise for the fitness chain. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 9/10/2018 12:52:57 AM

Jessye Deane has a full-time job. Dan Deane has a full-time job. Jessye and Dan have three kids, including a newborn. What they also have now is the first Function 45 franchise gym in Massachusetts.

The Bernardston natives have always wanted to open up a gym, but they just didn’t know when the opportunity might present itself.

It was an April trip down to Connecticut, visiting a F45 gym in Fairfield where Dan realized that this is the type of a gym he had been wanting to open all along.

The Australian-based franchise is an interval training studio and is beginning to grow in the U.S. F45 has about 1,500 locations in 36 countries, Jessye Deane said, and in the meanwhile it’s been growing here.

She said franchises were supposed to open in Boston and other cities around Massachusetts. The Deanes opened their franchise in late August in Hadley on Route 9.

F45 mixes interval, functional and circuit training and prides itself on no two workouts are the same. The strength and cardio workouts are over 45 minutes. And on Saturdays, the gym has its own DJ playing the music.

It’s “personal training in a motivating group environment,” Dan Deane said.

The thing the Deanes loved about the gym was that every exercise can be modified for the participant and the emphasis on fun the franchise places on working out.

They decided to move forward and open the franchise Hadley to “strike while the iron was hot,” allowing them to be the first in the state to open. That doesn’t mean it’s all been easy.

“When we found all of the pieces fitting together it certainly was not the right time in our lives,” Dan Deane said.

Jessye Deane joked that with their newborn, she’s up earlier already, “So I might as well be productive,” and help run the gym.

While the Deanes will be remote owners to some extent, they have hired a local person to run the gym. Marion Jordan, the former head of gymnastics at the Hampshire Regional YMCA, will lead F45 along with eight other personal trainers.

Nonetheless Dan Deane said they have been doing everything from reaching out to members, mopping the floor and changing light bulbs as the gym has opened, all the while maintaining their independent, full-time careers.

Dan, Deane who always dreamed of opening a gym, said he has been able to get in F45 workouts when he comes in, while Jessye Deane said that, “I usually have a baby attached to me, so unless I want the resistance training,” it’s been tough to find that right time.

The Deanes are offering two full free weeks of membership at F45 for people so they can try out the gym. So far 400 people have signed up for trials, Dan Deane said. And they have membership rates for people like students and first responders.

The gym has been filled in its opening weeks, but it’s also been a place where their kids have grown to become familiar with, too.

As the Deanes were finishing getting the gym setup, it ended up being family time. There were picnics on upside down buckets, Legos on towels and mats for their oldest to practice her cartwheels.

“It’s been neat to see it come together and have the kids there, and have it be a family business,” Jessye said.

You can reach Joshua Solomon at: jsolomon@recorder.co, 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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