From humble beginnings, Alex Marlow has transformed Mount Gambier business ‘Gym Challenge Meals’ into a one stop shop for healthy prepared meals.
Mr Marlow said he initially wanted to make a few meals for the F45 gym challenge.
After talking to F45 Mount Gambier owner Lisa Fyfe, Mr Marlow advertised the meals through the gym’s Facebook group.
“I sold about 10 meals on the first day,” Mr Marlow said.
The business grew rapidly and within six months Mr Marlow was making 120-150 meals a day at the Mount Gambier Hospital café to keep up with the increasing demand.
In 2019, Mr Marlow moved into the old Mount Gambier Goal’s kitchen facility equipped with only basic kitchen facilities, determination and one other staff member.
In July of the same year Mr Marlow had to make the tough decision of “pulling the pin” or getting a better kitchen and system to avoid burnout.
“I was working 16 hours a day, six days a week”, he said.
Deciding to commit to his business Mr Marlow jumped on the opportunity to lease the premises of his current location; 5/75 Suttontown Road Mount Gambier.
“It was just one of those opportunities where you say yes and figure out the details as you go,” Mr Marlow said.
After opening in January 2020, the business was unfortunately forced to close temporarily six weeks later due to COVID-19.
“Opening this business has been a tough challenge especially with COVID-19 but I have a really good team so we have managed to push through and keep going,” he said.
“People are supporting us as a local business having a go so we are just doing what we do best and we hope we can continue to do that,” Mr Marlow said.