MARTINSBURG, W.Va — The first spa salt cave in Martinsburg holds a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony noon, Thursday, June 9.
Touch of Grace Spa and Salt Cave contains a constructed cave with 10,000 pounds of pink Himalayan salt imported from Pakistan. The salt cave simulates the relaxing atmosphere of the natural salt caverns of Europe, an environment that ancient folk remedies declared would encourage healthy respiration and other benefits.
The spa, located at 970 Foxcroft Avenue, also offers a variety of relaxation services, including infrared saunas, massages, aroma touch, hot salt rocks, restorative Yoga and acupuncture.
The inspiration for the new spa came when traveling companions Brenda Walker and Ying Zi Yao visited the health and beauty spots of Europe. The friends returned to Martinsburg inspired to open a spa of their own.
Both women are experienced business owners. Yao runs the Asian Garden Restaurant in Martinsburg. She secured the location and supplies for the spa. Walker owned an assisted living center and developed a nonprofit group in the Baltimore area before selling her business and moving to Martinsburg. She handles the front line business management of the spa.
Walker and Yao found a fresh business idea with the spa and salt cave. All they needed was some coaching and information to turn the idea into a plan.
The Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce referred Walker to the West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC). She attended the business fundamentals workshop led by Mary Hott, the Eastern Panhandle Center business coach located in Martinsburg.
“Brenda is an experienced and successful CEO who relocated to West Virginia. She wanted to learn more about owning a business in this state,” said Hott. “The West Virginia Small Business Development Center reaches out to all levels of entrepreneurship, from starting a business to growing an established one.”
After the workshop, Walker took the next step with one-on-one business coaching.
“My business partner and I both have experience in running businesses, but neither of us was familiar with operating a spa,” said Walker. “As our business coach, Mary gave us advice and connected us with useful resources.”
Business coaches like Hott operate from WVSBDC offices across West Virginia. They collaborate with other business coaches in the statewide network. WVSBDC coaches are skilled individuals with professional certifications ranging from exporting, innovation, technology, economic development finance, management, marketing and entrepreneurship. The coaches advise clients on how to write business plans, manage projects effectively and find greater access to capital.
“WVSBDC coaches help entrepreneurs start, sustain and expand their businesses,” said Hott. “A coach equips the entrepreneur with the tools, information and connections to make good business decisions that lead to success.”
The WVSBDC is part of the West Virginia Development Office and creates economic impact by offering cost-effective business coaching and technical assistance. The SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and is an Accredited Member of America’s Small Business Development Center network. For more information visit www.wvsbdc.org.
For more information about Touch of Grace and the grand opening event, call 304-263-3070 or visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GraceSpaSaltCave.
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