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Unlikely pairing of pizza and fitness working well for Twillingate business owners

Business owners Sam Burt and Lisa Mehaney have formed an unlikely business alliance with Burt’s gym next door to Mehaney’s pizza restaurant.
Business owners Sam Burt and Lisa Mehaney have formed an unlikely business alliance with Burt’s gym next door to Mehaney’s pizza restaurant. - Clarence Ngoh

TWILLINGATE, NL –  The location of a pizza restaurant next to a gym in Twillingate may have folks in town scratching their heads.

The owner of All Out Fitness gym and physical fitness centre Sam Burt did not know what to expect when the pizza restaurant started next to his gym.

“I did not know whether it was going to hurt me or help me,” Burt said.

The gym is a recent addition to the area, with Burt taking on this venture after spending years of travelling in and out of province for work and was getting sick of it. He was looking for opportunities to stay in the province. Burt said that he was always interested in fitness and had an “obsession with weights.”

So, he took his interest and kick-started the business.

“And there was no competition, so I started it up,” said Burt.

However, there were not many choices for locations for his fitness centre, so when an opportunity came up to lease a spot on Toulinquet Road, Burt took it.

“After a slow start, business is now getting better,” Burt said.

The same can be said for business owners Lisa Mehaney and her husband Craig. They started their pizza restaurant, Island Pizza Plus, about a year after Burt’s opened his fitness centre.

They too struggled to find a location, so they grabbed the spot next to the gym when it came up. The Mehaneys ran a pizza business in Indian Cove for 14 years before moving to their current location. They noticed most of their customers were from Twillingate.

“So we decided to move here, and said we’ll do better,” said Mehaney. “And it has done well – it wasn’t a bad move and it’s busy all the time, even through winter.”

But this serendipitous move has worked out well for these business owners.

“We get a few clients from the gym,” said Mehaney.

“We tell them it’s ok to eat pizza, but if they do, they have to go over there and work it off,” she laughed.

Burt said he points his clients to the pizza place when they are looking for something to eat.

Burt and Mehaney said they plan to collaborate on a coupon and discount system that will further attract each other’s clients.

“It’s been really good,” said Burt. “We’re friends, so we send people both directions.”

Other businesses in Twillingate share promising outlooks with Burt and Mehaneys.

The well-known coffee and pastry stop, the Crow's Nest Café recently expanded their operations with a separate bakery and a drive-through service in response to a demand for their items.

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