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Glasgow gym raises bar for fitness fanatics by letting them bring in dogs

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The 27-year-old former digital marketing executive was ready for a new challenge and showed he had inherited the family entrepreneurial spirit.

Along with entrepreneur father Neil and brother Greg they founded the Two Birds boutique gym. However, keen to take things to another level, Danny also developed a cold blend vitamin enriched coffee which has just been stocked in its 100th independent retailer.

 

Two Birds Boutique Fitness with Danny Stevenson, who runs the boutique Glasgow gym Two Birds – where your dogs can come in as well. Picture Robert Perry.

 

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The success is bitter-sweet as it comes just months since his father Neil died suddenly at the age of 57-years-old.

“We had always wanted to go into business as family and the gym opportunity was a dream come true,” said Mr Stevenson. “I don’t think the idea of a franchise would have worked for us and we decided to open our own place – a premium gym with quality service and one to one coaching.

“We don’t have a strict, military approach to what we do I think we are more about engaging people. We had developed our cold blended coffee and it was my dad’s idea to come up with our next drink, a cold mint green tea. Everything was heading in the right direction.

“However, our worlds changed overnight when our dad died suddenly. He had been out running when he suffered a heart attack. Given his age and some history in the family of heart conditions I was fully checked out as well.

“Dad was such a huge inspiration to us and I feel that what we do now and decisions we make are due to the ethos he instilled in us. I have now got my mum Sheila involved and she is working with us.”

Two Birds opened in Washington Street in March 2019 and Mr Stevenson believed the time was right for a boutique gym in Glasgow.

He said: “We were offering one to one and group fitness and wanted to create a sense of community – that’s why we even encourage gym-goers to bring their dogs along. The dogs seem to be quite content and it’s not an unusual site to see dogs there while their owners train.”

 

Two Birds Boutique Fitness...Danny Stevenson, who runs the boutique Glasgow gym Two Birds - where your dogs can come in as well. Picture Robert Perry.

Two Birds Boutique Fitness…Danny Stevenson, who runs the boutique Glasgow gym Two Birds – where your dogs can come in as well. Picture Robert Perry.

 

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During lockdown, membership of its gym grew by a third as it moved online, into parks and onto roofs and its vitamin-enriched drinks grew in popularity.

“We were very lucky to be one of the few gyms with a rooftop area and we were able to take advantage of that,” added Mr Stevenson. “People were still a bit hesitant returning to the gym when things began to open up again, so we made the most of the roof top space.”

As for the future Mr Stevenson is keen to work with new suppliers and stockists for the drink, but what is important to him is keeping the connection with local firms.

“Our coffee is sourced from Glasgow firm Dear Green and we work with Jenier World of Tea in Hillington, and it is important that we continue to have that local connection with businesses. We would love to grow the drinks business and maybe one day look at another site as we expand the business as a lifestyle brand, but I have a few personal challenges coming up,” he added.

Mr Stevenson is just days away from taking part in a Half Ironman contest in Barcelona on Sunday October 3 which involves a 2km swim, 50 mile bike ride and a half marathon.

“I am a keen runner, but I decided to take on the swim and bike ride as well,” he added. “The training has been intense and you have been committed to long sessions to put the miles in. I’m not sure when I would get another chance to do this as my partner and I expecting our first child in January so no doubt we’ll have our hands full then.”

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