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SMALL BUSINESS WEEK: CrossFit782 making gains in the business world

Brett Roberts, co-founder of CrossFit 782 holds a medicine ball outside the gym at 570 North River Rd.
Brett Roberts, co-founder of CrossFit 782 holds a medicine ball outside the gym at 570 North River Rd. - Tony Davis

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The people who work out at CrossFit 782 are a major reason the company has grown since it began in 2014 and when people ask members of the gym how they get so fit, they tell them all about ‘782’.

“They are our walking billboards,” said Brett Roberts one of the founders of CrossFit 782.

You might see the members of CrossFit 782 on an evening commute down North River Road running hard and fast down the sidewalk.

Roberts taught CrossFit in Korea since 2011, and when he moved home he was approached by Mike Ives.

“Mike owned CrossFit P.E.I. at that point and wanted to start a new business venture with a new partner,” he said.

When Roberts and Ives met they quickly decided to open up CrossFit 782 in 2014.

The business was located in the Sport P.E.I. building before it moved to 570 North River Rd. and reopened December of 2016, Roberts said.

“We renovated ourselves then brought in contractors for the work we couldn’t do”

CrossFit782 is open concept like most CrossFit gyms Roberts said. People dropped massive weights on the rubber floor causing them to bounce as music plays in the background.

Even an early afternoon on a Monday people are training.

“You go to a typical gym there is a lot of machines around. With CrossFit the equipment is moved to what you need. We can bring out barbells, bring out medicine balls, kettlebells, dumbbells, we can get you running outside…”, Roberts said.

When they first started it was just Roberts and Ives doing most of the training with business partners Jeff MacRae and Todd Clark.

Now, the gym has steadily expanded their coaching staff.

“The coaches we hire are always from within, so they are members that either expressed interest or have shown the willingness to learn,” he said.

Besides Roberts and Ives the gym has five part time coaches and they plan to add two more in the next three months, Roberts said.

“We have about 225 members, with our specialty programs like our teen programs and Special Olympics program we probably have 250.”

The small business has turned heads in the community as well, recently CrossFit782 received an Inclusion Award from the City of Charlottetown for their work with individuals of all abilities into their community.

Businesses like CrossFit 782 are a big part of the Charlottetown business economy.

Small business is being highlighted across the Island as part of Small Business Week.

Penny Walsh-McGuire is the CEO of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.

“With close to 1000 members the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce is primarily made up of small businesses.”

More than 85 per cent of members have less than 20 employees, she said.

“Small business week is really an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of entrepreneurs to our economy and community.”

Roberts never thought CrossFit 782 would be part of the discussion. When he and Ives started the business they simply had a lot of passion Roberts said.

“We have been able to create a sustainable business because we are doing what we love.”

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