Best friends Gabe Cocco and Lane Fenner have partnered in a business venture, and it’s one that goes beyond an interest in entrepreneurship. They’ve experienced firsthand the benefits
of stretching, and are on a mission to help others. Through their five newly acquired Stretch Zone studios, they say they come close to offering the elusive “fountain
“We won’t make a bold claim to have found the fountain; however, we can slow down Father Time’s watch,” Gabe said.
Their goal, through studios in Roswell, Johns Creek, Woodstock, Kennesaw and Acworth, is to help members feel better, move more efficiently and effortlessly, be relieved of stiffness and soreness, and feel lighter and younger.
Lane’s personal story proves the success of the Stretch Zone model and explains his interest in the business. Stretching helped him recover from shoulder and hip pain and soreness from a cervical vertebrae fusion, giving him an advantage on the golf course.
“My golf game has improved as a direct benefit of stretching. Within my first two months, I have added one club length distance to my irons, while reducing my handicap from 10 to 7,” he said. “Like most people, as I age, my body stiffens, and I become less flexible over time. Since I started as a Stretch Zone member in May, my golf game has improved by at least 10 years. I’m also able to keep up and play with my grandchildren better than ever.”
Behind the Stretch
Stretch Zone has been in operation since 2004; Lane and Gabe purchased the five local franchises in October 2022. They stumbled on the opportunity to purchase five existing locations
as they were shopping for one in North Georgia. From discovery to closing, it was less than eight weeks.
“For decades, we talked about going into business together. Who wouldn’t want to work with their best friend?” Gabe said. “We both have/had aging parents and watched their mobility slowly decrease, pain and soreness increase, and overall quality of life diminish through the years. Watching our parents slowly suffer was enough incentive to look for a business that directly improves quality of life for others.”
For prospective clients, the first stretch is free. An assessment is made, and a plan is developed to address each individual’s needs. During each visit, members stretch out on a specially made table, equipped with patented straps that allow the client to relax fully and the practitioner to immobilize areas not being worked on, to properly isolate and target each muscle group.
All stretch practitioners are trained and have passed rigorous testing by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. They’ve studied anatomy and come from sports physiology, personal training, physical therapy or massage therapy backgrounds.
Each practitioner receives the same training, so members can see any practitioner and get the same service and results. The consistency makes it easier for members to fit their appointments into their busy schedules. Appointments also can be booked through the app.
Members range in age from 14 to the mid-80s. The principles of practitioner-assisted stretching reset the body’s “stretch reflex,” which is the body’s automatic defense against the dangers of overstretching. The active range-of-motion is increased over time, and with frequent visits. With an increase in active range-of-motion, practitioners are able to provide results that
are long-lasting, for mobility and relief that can be seen and felt.
Another success story involves a 71-year-old gentleman who had trouble putting his socks on and getting dressed for several years. After a few sessions, he was able
to dress with ease and touch his toes. “The gentleman was so proud to show us his regained mobility,” Lane said. “Our stretch practitioners felt a sense of pride realizing they played a part in improving his quality of life.”
Owners Are Uniquely Qualified
Gabe grew up in a family business that manufactured prosthetics and orthotics for patients missing limbs, or those who had skeletal alignment issues. His passion for helping others grew as he learned to fit devices that helped people live better, fuller lives.
Gabe received his science administration degree from Widener University and a Certification in Orthotics and Prosthetics from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.
Lane’s background is more traditional global business experience, mostly in health care, human resources, banking and telecom. He has an operations background in upper management for large multinational organizations; his experience ranges from managing 10,000 people to operating his own consulting practice.
Lane has a management/finance degree from Widener University and an MBA from the University of Florida.
“As an ownership team, along with our regional manager, Lola Carpenter, our skill sets complement one another,” Gabe said. “We are driving a family-first culture and looking for ways to better serve the Roswell and surrounding areas.”