Despite the pandemic, Boxstar Training rolls with the punches, opens new franchise location in Tonawanda

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TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Boxstar Training brought boxing workouts to the public when it opened on Elmwood Avenue a few years ago.

Now, the brand is taking a jab at expansion with its first franchise location, 2341 Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda.

Jeff Young, one of the three owners of the new Tonawanda location, said that the plans for the new fitness facility were in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had the opportunity to do the building during the pandemic, knowing that when some of the restrictions were lifted, people were going to be very eager to get into a workout again,” Young said.

They had reached out to Boxstar owner Drew Graziadei to see if he wanted to build out his brand.

“We brought him on board, paid him a licensing fee to take his brand over, and the four of us are trying to build the brand,” Young said.

Graziadei, a former fighter, opened the Elmwood Avenue location in 2017.

“For years, I was fighting and training, and people would ask about trying to do boxing, but they were scared- most of the time when you go to a fighters’ gym, it’s intimidating,” Graziadei said.

But there’s no boxing experience needed to take a class at Boxstar Training.

“I’ve had people come into the gym with zero coordination who ended up falling in love with it,” Graziadei added.

Melanie Groszewski has been taking classes at Boxstar since they opened.

She recently moved to Clarence, and says she’s thrilled that the new location is closer to her.

“Boxing is kind of like my therapy- if I have a bad day, a good day, I can kind of get it all out in this class,” Groszewski said. “I have an Apple watch, and it’s probably close to 500 calories in one class.”

Boxing can let you hit every muscle group in one workout, Graziadei said.

“It’s a full body workout,” he said. “It’s more leg-oriented than people realize, and it’s fantastic for cardio.”

The Sheridan location opened on Monday, and Young says that the response has been great.

“We’ve had people for basically every class,” Young said.

The Elmwood Avenue and Sheridan Drive centers are different operations, but Graziadei said that they’re working on a dual package for both locations.

And you can keep an eye out for more Boxstar Training locations in the future.

“This has been my dream to expand this brand,” Graziadei said. “My goal is to open up one in every major city in the next couple of years.”

Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of her work here.

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