A fall festival was held to celebrate the grand re-opening on Nov. 10.
For over a year, Christopher and Lauren Cowan had been taking their daughter to The Little Gym of Port Orange. And then the unexpected happened.
Lauren Cowan had worked for her family business for several years when her distant family members decided they wanted to sell.
“In a rather short period of time, our family was thrown into a situation of me not having a career, and I wanted to find a new path to help support ourselves,” Lauren Cowan said.
Knowing how much they enjoyed their experience at The Little Gym, which hosts "unique programs that revolve around active play," Christopher and Lauren Cowan spoke with the previous owners to see if they could take over the franchise.
“We felt it was the perfect opportunity for us to have a business of our own and create a place within our community that could have a positive impact on our neighbors,” Lauren Cowan said.
To become owners of the franchise, the Cowans had to travel from Florida to the The Little Gym headquarters, in Arizona. They spent the next three days learning together. Lauren Cowan then went back to spend another 10 days training with other owners and directors for up to 12 hours a day in Arizona. Next, she traveled to New Jersey where she spent time as an intern.
But it was all worth it, they said. The couple took over ownership in September and hosted a re-opening festival on Nov. 10.
“We have a passion for children and ensuring that they see that they are amazing, just the way they are," Lauren Cowan said. "Our goal is to make them feel that they are the most important things to us and our instructors, and to help them see they can do and be anything they can imagine.”
The Little Gym specializes in being non-competitive and 3-D learning.
“We hope to become a space where parents can connect, truly feel supported, and build lasting relationships, all while their children learn some amazing skills, both in gymnastics and in all areas of their lives," Lauren Cowan said.
Next year, the gym will be renovated, with new EZ Flex gym floors, vinyl tile that looks like wood, as well as new pads and mats. Visit www.thelittlegym.com/portorangefl.