Tradie entrepreneurs go global for flotation therapy

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
3 Min Read

Two Queensland tradies who swapped their tools for floatation tanks are going global, with plans to become pillars in the US wellness sector.

Jeremy Hassel and Tim Butters established Australia’s most popular wellness chain, City Cave, just seven years ago after meeting on a building site.

The entrepreneurial pair wants to bring the flotation therapy franchise to more than 2,000 global locations by 2028, with the first US-based site opening in Florida last month.

They currently have 70 sites in Australia and New Zealand but aim to expand heavily across the United States before bringing the relaxation retreat to Asia and Europe.

Former carpenter and cofounder Jeremey Hassel says a desire to switch off from modern-day work pressures has helped build the franchises’ popularity among customers, with more than 600,000 people on their database.

“It’s stressful out there…screen times are up, and we spend a long time now looking at our screens that we never used to,” Mr Hassel said.

“I think people are just looking for a way to take a step back and maybe just take a breath.”

Mr Hassel met former tiler and cofounder Tim Butters on a construction site almost a decade ago and initially started a textile business together.

But with limited growth opportunities, they sold, and the stress of being unemployed led the pair to seek flotation therapy to help them relax and recharge.

The results left them with a Eureka moment, with the duo quickly deciding to launch their flotation therapy centre, which, thanks to their construction background, was able to launch in just eight weeks.

Their improvements included adding infrared saunas and massage options alongside their now patented open-air flotation therapy that heats to match users’ body temperature to provide a sense of total relaxation and weightlessness.

“My hands are very soft these days compared to what they used to be,” former carpenter Mr Hassel said.

The US branch will work on a similar franchise model with a waitlist of prospective franchise owners continuing to grow.

Cofounder Tim Butters said the franchise will soon announce their next US locations.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.