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Health Club Management

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Health Club Management

Health Club Management


People profile: Charlie & Claire Bourne

founders: Eden Organic and Eden Fitness

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 4
Charlie & Claire Bourne
Charlie & Claire Bourne
We’ll soon be starting work on a mega club, called Eden RAW, which will have four boutique offerings under one roof and is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2020

What’s the story behind Eden Organic?
Claire: Eden Organic launched in 2016 and is my passion project. My background is in the pharmaceutical industry but, in 2009, I was incredibly ill and was left fighting for my life. I temporarily lost my vision, as well as the ability to walk and talk. I was given high doses of medication and the future was bleak.

I never gave up my dream to heal and lead a joyful life again and I didn’t want to remain on lifelong medication, so I threw myself into researching natural healing, organic living and how to clean up my diet and better understand the ingredients of every product I came in contact with in normal life.

I didn’t realise the damage caused by pesticides, GMO and the additives that are hidden in our food, household and beauty products, which we routinely use.

After three years living a totally natural and organic life, I’d completely healed myself and no longer needed medication. Life was joyful again and I passionately wanted to share my research with others so I decided to create Eden Organic: a lifestyle brand of beauty, nutrition and supplementation, available to Eden Fitness members and online.

All the products we sell are researched and used by our team, and in addition to offering curated products, we’re now busy creating our own product ranges that we’re incredibly excited about.

What other plans do you have?
We’re in the process of launching a luxury fitness and spa brand in Ireland – called Eden One – in a joint partnership with Comer Homes and the McHale brothers for their latest landmark site, Number One Ballsbridge.
Eden One will raise the bar for ultra high-end members’ fitness clubs and we’re combining this with Eden Elements; the next level of destination spa. It’s slated to launch in the last quarter of 2019.

How did Eden Fitness start?
Charlie: In 1995 I had a motorbike accident and was paralysed for a few months. While I was bolted to my hospital bed, I caught an episode of Mr Motivator on TV and vowed that if I could ever walk again I would get into fitness.

Fortunately, I did heal, trained to become an aerobics instructor and got a job at a club, then known as Jealous Health Club on the outskirts of London.

Within a few years, I’d risen to fitness manager and realised the core business was struggling. I had the option of taking it over in 2001 and, with some support and great relations with the landlord – which was actually Comer Homes – we bought the business for £1, along with £600,000 of debt.

After a year and a complete makeover, the business was thriving. As a result, Comer Homes offered me another site in Ealing, which is where I developed and launched Eden Fitness in 2007.

What is the concept?
Lots of other operators had already turned down the site, because it didn’t fit their standard model, so it needed something completely different.

We created a design-led, member-focused and highly aesthetic environment, to create a place where people want to spend time.

The entrance is through our fully licensed champagne lounge which immediately sets the scene and is something completely different from a standard fitness club.

We have a stunning 20m pool, a panoramic Finnish sauna, a star-lit steamroom and a large hydro pool; in addition to 5,500sq ft of personalised fitness spaces and a studio with 70 classes per week.

Recently we’ve added a further 40 Eden RAW boutique classes, held either on the gym floor, in the studio or in our Total Cardio Zone.

Coming from a grassroots studio instructor background, I’m still involved with the programming of all the RAW HIIT class formats.

What happened to the original club?
In 2011 I sold it to another company who closed it. I’ve since taken it back again and have grand ideas for its next chapter! We’ll soon be starting work on a mega-boutique club called Eden RAW, which will have four boutique offerings under one roof and is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2020.

There’ll be a studio offering our HIIT classes with treadmills, resistance stations and TRX; a boxing and combat HIIT studio; a multi-tiered spinning auditorium and a mind/body studio. One floor will be dedicated to specialised PT pods. RAW credits can be used, in various multiples, for any of the studios, personal training or at Eden Fitness.

Why are you the only person who can make this site work?
I know the area well and what members want, I have a real passion for the site and take a personal approach to its operation.

The last operator struggled to maintain the different facilities, so we’ve forsaken the wet area – the space lends itself to a mega-boutique and we’ll be able to offer a one-stop shop for boutique fitness, which is what the market wants.

Eden will be opening two new locations in 2019/20
Eden will be opening two new locations in 2019/20
The founders of Eden Fitness and Eden Organic on how two health scares inspired their growing health and wellness operation
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