Wellness Within expects to hire 20 to 30 people
By: Viola Pruss
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013 06:00 am
The new spa at the Enjoy Centre is here to stay.
Bill Hole, co-owner of the Enjoy Centre, announced this week that his company has partnered with a new tenant to take over the space of the former The Water Garden/Jardin Yoga & Spa.
Wellness Within Health & Learning Centre is scheduled to open this Friday. It is the third spa to move into the Enjoy Centre since 2011.
“It was quite important to us that we could get rid of the stigma as quickly as possible,” said Wellness Within owner Caroline Riske.
“Having two of them shut down is a huge obstacle that we need to overcome. We really want to show that we’re not fly-by-night. We are quite established and we are here to stay.”
Hole said the first tenant was not able to make the lease payments.
A previous article in the Gazette said Health Hub Holdings, which leased space for Water Garden Spa and Wellness Retreat, and managed the Prairie Bistro and Baker, was two months, or $128,000, behind on rent for the spa.
They were locked out of their business in September 2012.
Hole and his brother Jim took over Prairie Bistro and Prairie Baker, while another group ran The Water Garden. They moved out in late January.
Hole said the second group was an interim solution until they found someone to stay long-term. He added that it took time to find a new tenant because they were very particular about who was moving in.
Riske and her husband grew up in St. Albert and worked at the former Holes location when they were younger.
“Caroline is a very intelligent businesswoman,” Hole said. “She doesn’t seem to have any fear of putting in the hours we need to make it work. She is young enough to have the energy to do it; she has an existing clientele.
“We did not want to have a problem in here so that people come in and say it hasn’t worked again.”
Wellness Within’s services include acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, hypnotherapy, yoga esthetics, spa treatments and massages.
Riske said she expects to employ 20 to 30 people, ranging from therapists to yoga teachers and educational instructors.
For the past seven years, her business was located in west Edmonton but Riske said it was time for her to expand.
She said some of her former clients will move to the new spa but she will have to work to attract new customers.
“Our major issue with the location is just the lack of transit,” she said.
“We will really work on lobbying the city to bring in more transit to the area. The closest bus stop is a few blocks away and it only runs during peak times.”
Riske said they decided to move into the Enjoy Centre because of its beautiful space and focus on sustainability.
The new location allows her business to grow and offer new services such as pedicures and manicures, and group packages for birthday parties and stagettes.
She added she’s not worried about the cost of rent.
“We are quite familiar with the costs and I think a lot of businesses don’t anticipate the growth that’s needed and they don’t save up for it nor do they choose an appropriate amount of rent,” she said.
“We worked out a very supportive deal with the Holes, where it’s based on if we succeed, they succeed.”
Wellness Within is taking over 10,000 of the 17,000 square feet of space available at the Enjoy Centre.
The other 7,000 square feet will be leased to two or three different groups. Hole said the city was looking to lease space as were a number of other businesses.
At this time, he could not say who will be moving in.
“We like to see something that is complimentary to the centre, something that is longer term not just something just to fill the space,” he said.
“If we can work with somebody who looked at this facility as something they can leverage for events because there are a lot of things happening here, that would be ideal.”
Hole said the Enjoy Centre overcame obstacles in the past and required a number of changes, such as redesigning the bistro and attracting more events.
He said garden centres across the world face difficulties attracting a younger demographic. That generation does not see themselves as gardeners, which requires centres like his to offer different services.
In addition to the new spa, he is also working with Beachcomber Hot Tubs to open a spring and summer store at the centre.
The store will operate from March until September, selling hot tubs, patio furniture, grills and pizza ovens.
“We try to work on the experience and when you work on that it takes a lot of thought and effort and money,” he said.
“When you build a brand new building there are all kinds of decisions to be made on the design, getting it open and getting customers to be familiar with it … and it was a big change for people from the old facility to this.”
Wellness Within Health & Learning Centre will open Friday, March 15.
Yoga passes and gift cards purchased by clients of The Water Garden/Jardin Yoga Spa will be honoured. Clients may use yoga passes for any drop-in class between April and July 2013.
Those who purchased gift certificates may use up to a value of 50 per cent per visit. The certificates are valid for redemption until July 31, 2013.