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Tea Spa Wellness debut draws raves

Tea Spa Wellness debut draws raves

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Tea Spa Wellness opened to an enthusiastic reception from Atikokanites earlier this month.

Tina Swanson’s O’Brien Street shop is offering a healthy mix of nutrition products, supplements, organics, and alternatives, a smoothie and tea bar, and above all, a warm, earthy, and relaxed atmosphere to take it all in.

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“This didn’t just happen… It’s something I’ve been thinking about, planning, and wanting to do for years,” she said last week.T

It may have started with the birth of her first child. Her arrival got Tina reading ingredient labels, and looking more closely at the widespread use of chemicals and preservatives in the products we use and eat. Always curious, and never afraid of a little research, she began to educate herself about alternatives to the mass-market – products that are crafted carefully, with the wellness of the user the ultimate goal.

She has put her knowledge to good use with Tea Spa Wellness. The product lines range from exotic treats, (but organic and all-natural, of course), to select personal care and beauty products, essential oils, supplements (Natural Factors is the core brand in the line-up), a Baby & Mom section (Swanson remembers what started it all for her), and even human-friendly household and laundry cleaning products.

“People seem pleased with the variety,” she said. “I looked for good quality products, and most of [what I have found are] exclusive to health food stores.”

Swanson’s broad experience in the retail and service sectors impressed on her the need to offer a broad range of products in a small market like Atikokan’s. The trick was how to bring them together under one brand, and Tea Spa Wellness succeeds.

Each of the shop’s products occupies a niche within a bigger market. What unites them is their consumer – a person who is looking for a healthier way.

Capping it all is the personal touch – the smoothie and tea bar. Pull up a stool, enjoy a brew, chat…

“Tea is the soul of the business. It’s all about the tea,” she says. “I’m a real tea entusiast.”

Shanti teas are the featured product, in both hot and cold versions. (We sampled a delicious hibiscus tea, one of several cold blends she had had ready to pour.) Shanti is a Canadian company (“I’m trying to keep it [the product mix] Canadian, as much as I can.”) that prides itself on the certified organic status of all its blends.

Swanson will have a mix of standard blends ready to go every day, but will also offer a rotating selection of special blends. Much of the tea experience is all about finding what best fits your taste, and current state. Swanson’s knowledge can help you find a new way to enjoy the tea experience.

Coffee drinkers are welcome, too. Paradise Mountain is the house blend (it’s organic); Swanson will grind the beans and aero-press each cup. (We also noticed Bullet Proof Coffee, ‘coffee for mission control performance’, on the shelves.)

And then there are the smoothies, or in this case, Tea Spa Chills. Swanson has developed six of her own recipes, all of them enticing, and all of them offering an intriguing blend of ingredients designed to suit any taste, or any mood. A special menu of ‘spikes’ (supplements) will enable the ‘chillee’ to put his or her own personal touch on the mix.

Ultimately, that’s what Tea Spa Wellness is all about, finding something new and healthy that fits with you and your lifestyle.

Tea Spa Wellness is located at 218 O’Brien St. (between Dave’s Appliance and the Artisans’ Den), and is open 10 am to 6 pm Tuesdays through Fridays, and 11 am to 4 pm Saturdays (closed Sunday and Monday). You can reach Tina at 1-807-700-1547 or tswan09@rocketmail.com

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