New England Functional Fitness founded on friendship

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New England Functional Fitness founded on friendship


EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. – A fitness business founded on friendship. That’s the story of how Dr. Anup Sharma and Matt Caron created the training facility known as New England Functional Fitness.

They met at ATI Physical Therapy. Sharma had been employed as a Physical Therapy aid and Caron an intern where a mutual passion for fitness would take a shape of its own.

“We met, we hit it off, we became friendly, and then it just kinda grew naturally,” said Caron. “Until we approached ATI and we purchased it and we became NEFF fitness.”

In 2019, Dr. Sharma and Caron bought the fitness side of the business and became the owners of NEFF, but their bond goes beyond just the weight room.

On Friday, the two of them left the facility for one of their usual coffee shop trips where they discussed everything business related, including getting a new hire up to speed.

“Needing all of her business cards and all the paperwork done for her. All the way to how we’re planning on growing our business,” Caron said. “We’re talking about marketing and editing the website and adding some photos and videos here and there and then more about our outreach into the community and how we’re gonna grow from there.”

With Dr. Sharma working on the physical therapy side of things, and Caron the strength and conditioning side, the two cannot be in the facility at the same time. Dr. Sharma said a business and relationship built on trust means that even when apart, they know their gym is in healthy hands.

“I never have to worry that things won’t be done in the aspect that they should be,” Dr. Sharma said. “They’re always done appropriately with not only him but all of the coaches and staff that’s here. I never have to worry about any inappropriate behavior or things of that nature”

At the core, the two share a passion for people’s wellness and know they can help each other by being a strong team within the business.

“So it’s knowing that it’s not about being the smartest person in the room but it’s about fighting to be smarter,” Dr. Sharma said. “Being the best facility and again, we have to thrive off each other.”

Dr. Sharma and Caron hope to expand their business by opening up more sites in the next few years with the goal of providing as best a quality of life as possible for their staff and clients.



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