Business Franchise Australia



Former paramedic, Craig Thomas, and former emergency nurse, Bridget Thomas, have entered the float therapy industry in a bid to raise awareness for alternative treatment options that can reduce the mental and physical impacts on those working on the front line, along with many other industries and struggles members of the community face.


The pair opened their own City Cave centre in May 2024 in Richmond NSW, marking the first step on their mission to present float therapy as a natural solution to regulate a person’s nervous system and address underlying stressors before they have an irrevocable impact. 


After 21-years as a paramedic, Craig was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a total and permanent disability that would find specialists advising him that he would never work at the same capacity again or see him in any gainful employment going forward. 


After two years of weekly appointments with a psychologist, sleepless nights and no end to the trauma in sight, Craig commenced Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (“EMDR”) and was referred to a new type of therapy that would change everything. 


“We were pretty desperate by that point. I had been through a lot of traditional therapies over the course of two years that weren’t really having an impact. I wasn’t sleeping, my family weren’t sleeping, it was incredibly difficult, and it didn’t seem there would ever be a light at the end of the tunnel for me. Then a friend of ours recommended float therapy alongside my EMDR therapy. I was ready to try anything. Within a couple of months, I instantly started to feel relief,” Craig said. 


“It felt like all hope wasn’t lost. That maybe this could bridge it. Then with each visit I saw an improvement. Now, whilst I’m not always perfect, it’s certainly become a therapy that helps me manage my symptoms and I’ll forever be grateful.”


Within two months, Bridget and the family noticed a change in Craig and immediately knew float therapy could be the solution and an opportunity of self-care that could be embraced by others in Craig’s former field to avoid and prevent what happened to him, happening to them. 


“We knew straight away, ‘okay, this is where we’re being called to, we need to look at doing this going forward, and to share the experience with as many people as we can’,” Bridget said. “We obviously started speaking to a lot of our network within the paramedic and nursing spaces and to get them floating because there’s a lot of people in the front-line industry that are just hanging on.”


Seeing their peers float and gain the benefits of the therapy reinforced Craig and Bridget’s desire to meet the demand for this type of remedy to heal or prevent. 


“We need to be able to get this out there for other people to start helping them or help prevent them from experiencing what I went through. I felt that if I had this available to me before my injury, I may have been able to recover from the more regular trauma exposure that I had,” Craig said.


Bridget says opening their own City Cave Richmond will be an incredible opportunity to take their lived experience and have an impact on their network and the community. “It was clear from the start that the brand had the same desires and drive as we did. It was never about making money or becoming some world-famous service, it is purely about making an impact on everyone’s lives, that we could really change lives in our own local community. Being part of a bigger franchise is just a bonus,” Bridget said.




“There’s so much excitement in Richmond around it, people are excited and are looking forward to having something like this available.” Being new to the industry, the City Cave Franchise team offered a level of support and guidance along the way that assured them their dream of supporting others would be a success. 


“Any fear that you may have about starting your own business, like City Cave, is really met with supportive people. The brand has processes in place to help guide you through,” Bridget said. “Coming into this new for the first time, we really needed the safe structures of a franchise around us because it was a tried and tested model, and the owners are so amazing and supportive. They are like a family to us.”


City Cave is now the world’s fastest growing float therapy brand, and Australia’s first dedicated float therapy and wellness centre, offering guests an end-to-end experience designed to improve overall wellbeing through open pool float therapy, infrared saunas, and massages. 


Grounded in evidence-based insights and cutting-edge medical research, City Cave delivers the most advanced floatation experience in the world. Its flagship patented sensory deprivation treatment, floatation therapy, is unique compared to the traditional floatation pods. The large, private open-air pool is heated and matched to an individual’s body temperature and provides a sense of weightlessness to achieve deep relaxation.


“Our mission is to change people’s lives for the better, plain and simple. While it might sound like a cliché, our evidence-based therapies aim to extend the lifespan and improve the quality of life for people across the globe,” City Cave Co-founder Jeremy Hassell said.


With an annual turnover of $60M in revenue this financial year, the successful business franchise model also plans to open 10 new locations across the Australia and New Zealand region over the next year.


The purpose-driven brand is very selective of the right people to join their business, choosing both team members and Franchisees based on their core values of Collaboration, Abundance, Empathy and Balance.


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