Ossining native Andre Desa, who currently lives in Montrose, purchased his Anytime Fitness franchise in Ossining in February 2018 to follow his passion, he said last week.
It was a roughly eight-month process to renovate the facility, formerly a Japanese restaurant. His business officially opened on September 11, 2019, Desa noted.
Desa said he previously worked in the family business—a wholesale marketer and distributor of wines, olive oils and honey.
After leaving the family business, Desa said he “went into following my passion and it just so happens this industry is very underserved in Ossining in terms of fitness. That is why I took the risk to put a gym in Ossining.”
“I was a very passionate soccer player for a long time. My ambition was to eventually go pro,” Desa explained. “Like many athletes, they kind of want to go big but it never works out.”
Working out in a gym and helping people gave him the feeling “that closely resembled my soccer passion,” he said. “My passion really is just talking to people. What happens is a gym turns out to be a community on its own. And I think it’s important to treat humans like humans.”
Desa said his employees know 90 percent of their clients by first name. “It’s a big selling point,” he said. “We’re going to treat you like not a number. We’re going to treat you like a person. That’s a big thing for me.”
Desa said he chose to purchase an Anytime Fitness franchise because “I wanted to do something along the lines of a model that’s already proven. Anytime Fitness is the number one global fitness franchise in the world right now, there’s almost 5,000 locations around the world. They’re on all seven continents.”
Once a person joins Anytime Fitness the member has access to any of its facilities around the world, he noted.
“The beauty of Anytime Fitness is it’s convenient, it’s for anyone and everyone,” Desa said, noting the facility never closes for holidays. An Anytime Fitness client can work out anytime he or she wants, he said. “That’s the unique selling point for us,” he said.
Anytime Fitness is located at 281 S. Highland Ave. in the Arcadian Shopping Center in Ossining. For more information, call 914-487-8033. The Anytime Fitness Web site is anytimefitness.com. The business also has a Facebook page.