Homegrown Business: Be Summer Ready with Forest Hill Village Gym

After working as a personal trainer for over 12 years, Aubey Yaphe, decided to open Forest Hill Village Gym, which had to close 6 days later because of COVID-19. He made a decision then to post free online workouts on the gym’s Instagram account and make donations to North York General Hospital. This week we spoke to Aubey about his business plan and how he can help us make a positive change in our own lives.

Aubey Yaphe of Forest Hill Gym
Aubey Yaphe of Forest Hill Village Gym

What is your business called and what does it do?

We are Forest Hill Village Gym, a boutique fitness facility offering a variety of high intensity fitness classes. Our programming is based on proven exercise science, enabling you to achieve measurable results during your time with us. The structure of our classes is designed to allow the client to progress towards their fitness goals. Week to week and month to month, our goal is to help our clients become a stronger and fitter version of themselves.

What made you want to do this work?

I actually had no idea I would end up in this field of work. My typical 9-to-5 day was a desk job that I was getting a little bored of. A friend approached me and said perhaps you should get certified as a personal trainer. He knew how active I was and how much I enjoyed my own workouts so he thought that it would be a good fit. One thing led to another and I got certified. I didn’t think I would have the success that I have had moving into this field of work. It’s been quite a blessing.

What problem does this solve?

Forest Hill Village Gym strives to support and uplift anyone who is looking for a lifestyle change to improve their overall health and fitness. Our goal is to create engaging and interactive fitness classes to ensure all of our clients stay motivated to achieve their highest fitness potential.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Our clientele is anyone and everyone! Whether you are a beginner or an advanced client, all of our classes are tailored to suit your needs and our highly knowledgeable trainers can guide you through any circumstance. We understand that each client has their own set of unique goals and we are able to give each individual the personalized attention they deserve.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Up until last weekend the business wasn’t making any money due to COVID-19, however starting June 2, we have been offering paid classes on Instagram through our private account @fh_villagegymvip. This is where members can access daily live classes or classes on demand. It was not an easy decision to move to this platform but for the future and survival of my business, I had no choice. We continue to offer our free kids class through @fh_villagegym.

Where in Toronto can we find your profession?

We are located at the corner of Spadina and Lonsdale.

What makes Forest Hill Village Gym different?

We are a boutique style Gym where we offer exclusive, focused training programming to our clientele. We are strong believers that each client should be viewed as if they were our only client. The client experience at our gym is extremely important. We also have a strong community feel where our gym members interact with one another on a daily basis and it gives our gym a family-like feel.

What is the best part about what you do?

I absolutely love my job. The interaction from client to client on a daily basis keeps me going. Most importantly, watching and seeing the results our clients are achieving from week to week, month to month, and from year to year. It’s really special to see how much stronger our clients feel, both mentally and physically.

What is the worst part?

There aren’t enough hours in the day.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

That in order to be a trainer you must have a perfect diet. LOL. That’s not certainly something I follow. Balance is key.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?

Delicious dish cooking with Carolyn Cohen and Toben Catering.