At 22,000 square feet, the borough of Chaguanas now has the largest gym in Trinidad and Tobago.
Raw Fitness Health Club officially opened its doors at the Brentwood Mall last week Tuesday. The state-of-the-art gym is divided into two stories and boasts an open floor plan and modern design. From its sensory-operated doors to its smoothie bar and robot-operated salad kiosk, it is not your usual gym.
Raw Fitness is the latest step by Khan’s Poultry and Meats Ltd and its partner companies to expand into Chaguanas.
While many companies have had to downsize or even close their doors permanently, the group has managed to further establish itself. Over the past year and a half, the company has pumped millions into the Borough of Chaguanas, starting with the opening of two Khan’s Poultry locations, and now Raw Fitness Health Club.
The mega structure is very similar its first location in Gasparillo, but with a few noticeable differences.
Nyal Khan, director at Khan’s Poultry and executive director of Edan K Properties told the Express Business the company’s plan to expand was already in place well before the pandemic hit.
“We started plans for the Raw Fitness expansion in 2018,” he said.
Despite the company’s tenacity to push forward with its plans, Covid-19 did create some challenges to its overall operations, resulting in minor delays.
Khan said some of the areas of concern included supply chain issues. Also, the escalating cost of supplies/materials and increased shipping prices. However, he applauded the astute planning of his team to navigate all three projects successfully.
Sharing some of the main features of the gym, Khan also explained how the salad kiosk machine works.
He said, “One of our main attractions is the salad kiosk machine. It is basically a robot that makes salads. It is fully automated, and people can personalise their salads on the spot. This gym is about 22,000 square feet, which is like our Gasparillo location which is just under in size. It’s a 24-hour facility, however, at Brentwood you will get twice the amount of equipment available here than at our Gasparillo gym.”
Raw Fitness Health Club carries a wide range of cardio and strength-training equipment as well as the usual exercise classes such as Zumba, spin, and aerobics. They also carry a wide range of beverages and healthy food options. Gym members can also take advantage of its squash court and AstroTurf and football pitch, Khan said. Looking at the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the population, Khan said the entrepreneurs owe it to themselves to do something about it.
“Over the last ten years, obesity has killed more people than starvation. Imagine we as the human race have reached a stage where we have too little to do and too much to eat. It just tells you how important health is. We don’t solely focus on physical health. We also think about mental health and social health. When you step through our doors, we look at this as a holistically lifestyle-enhancing facility,” Khan said. “It is not just a location to do exercise. Our staff is trained to get people to come in; to motivate people to work out and be healthier,” he said.
President of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Richie Sookhai said: “Being a part of the largest gym opening in Trinidad…. I am proud. These young entrepreneurs that are coming are not afraid to put their money where their mouth is, especially now coming out of a pandemic. Coming to the gym isn’t about pumping iron or coming to flex and look good, it is a way of life,” he said.
The chamber president expressed concern over the region and its high prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
“Our staple food in this country—chicken and chips…do we know how many calories we are putting into our bodies?