Business Beat: New fitness center to help offset opening of Dominos, Dunkin’ Donuts

pguerra@modbee.comJune 14, 2014 

— Dwayne Vakatini spent seven years getting people in New Zealand into shape. Now, since moving to Modesto two years ago, he is looking to do the same here.

Vakatini and his wife, Emma, opened 3 Sixty Fitness on Oakdale Road this month.

“We wanted to get out of that big-box setting,” Dwayne Vakatini said. 3 Sixty offers personal training in one-on-one and small-group settings.

Someone looking to get fit with one-on-one sessions can expect to spend $400 to $800 per month, assuming the client meets with a trainer twice a week.

The Vakatinis realize that’s going to sound pricey compared with other gyms that offer memberships of as little as $10 per month. But they promise more than just some exercise equipment and a towel. They offer nutritional counseling and advice for lifestyle changes.

“It’s about a connection between the trainer and the client,” Emma Vakatini said.

3 Sixty Fitness is at 3609 Oakdale Road. Call (209) 222-7229.


ELSEWHERE AROUND THE BUSINESS BEAT – One of my favorite parts of this column is when readers call me with questions.

And one of my favorite favorite things is when I can answer them.

This week, I got a call from a reader named Ken. He wondered what happened to Domino’s Pizza in Modesto. The restaurant chain at one point had three locations in Modesto and Ceres, but they closed in 2009. Now, the closest site is in Turlock.

“Has Domino’s just abandoned Modesto?” Ken asked in his voicemail message.

Well, it’s not a company decision. Domino’s restaurants are operated by franchisees, so someone must be willing to put in an investment before a shop opens.

The good news for Ken and other fans of the chain is that, apparently, someone indeed is willing.

The city of Modesto’s website lists business licenses that are obtained through the finance department. Listed among the recent applicants is none other than a Domino’s. The address listed is on Oakdale Road near Scenic Drive. No word yet on when it will open, but it is in the works. I have heard that another is being built in Manteca.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which previously had announced plans to look for a site in Modesto, found one.

The doughnut shop, which has an almost cultlike following in many parts of the country, announced Tuesday it will open a location in Modesto by the end of the year. A specific site wasn’t given in the news release, but alert readers pointed out that there’s a banner on the former Boston Market on Standiford Avenue at Tully Road heralding a Dunkin’ Donuts opening soon.

Modesto’s new Dunkin’ will join new franchises in Southern California, specifically Long Beach, Downey, Santa Monica and Whittier.

“We are pleased with the solid start to our California development plans, and today’s announcement of the locations of our first new traditional Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants represents development that is ahead of schedule due to the strong interest of prospective franchisees and consumers across the state,” company President Paul Twohig said in a news release. “We are especially happy to be partnering with such experienced and passionate franchise groups as we begin opening traditional Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in California. We look forward to keeping Californians running on our brand’s high-quality coffee, sandwiches and baked goods.”

It’s an interesting site selection, as the new doughnut shop will be not quite directly across the street from Mr. T’s Delicate Donut, a longtime local business with a near cult following of its own.

Said one reader on The Modesto Bee’s Facebook page: “I’ll try it since I’ve never been to one, but Mr. T’s will always be my fave.”

Have an item for Business Beat? Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at pguerra@modbee.com or (209) 578-2343. Follow her on Twitter @PattyGuerra.

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