When Ezcape Spa and Salon owner Ann Fleming first opened for business 11 years ago, her mission was to provide women in Orléans with a unique day spa experience they couldn't find anywhere else in the east end.
Ezcape Spa & Salon owner Ann Fleming holds up a portrait of her friend Anastasis Kuzyk who was the inspiration behind her decision to open Ezcape Wellness. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO
It wasn't until her friend Anastasia Kuzyk was killed in a triple murder in Wilno last September, that she began considering a possible expansion.
"The lack of wellness for women -- the lack of not being able to get help -- weighed heavily on my mind. So I definitely began looking at adding a wellness component," says Fleming.
After deciding against expansion twice before, Fleming would get a third opportunity to consider it when her next door neighbour, Cheddar Et Cetera, closed their doors last April.
"Twice I said no, I want to eventually retire I don't want to expand, but when it came up a third time and fell into my lap, it was like divine intervention," says Fleming.
The result is Ezcape Wellness, a separate "wing" with three soothing massage rooms staffed by Registered Massage Therapists and equipped with mood music and scented oils to provide the very best in aroma therapy.
At the heart of the Wellness Centre is a consultation room where clients can receive advice and counseling from Ezcape's team of wellness professionals that includes a therapist, a chiropractor, a nutritionist and a naturopath.
"Women, and men too, can come in and receive counseling and be served in a spa environment rather than a clinical environment," Fleming explains. "We wanted it to be as natural and organic as possible."
"It's all about healing the mind, body and soul. So you heal the mind. You heal the body, and in the end you heal the soul."
The Wellness Centre is also equipped with an extra wide corridor that will double as a space for yoga and pilates classes.
And overlooking it all is a portrait of Fleming's friend Anastasia, who will serve as a constant inspiration to Ann and her dedicated staff, many of whom have been with her from the beginning.
"I have such a fantastic staff. They're all family," says Fleming, who's son Jamie took over the marketing and social media duties in November 2015 after he graduating from Western University and Humber College three years ago.
"Ever since he came, the place has soared," says Fleming. "It just goes to show that when God closes a door he opens a window. I feel truly blessed."
To find out more about the many services offered by the Ezcape Wellness Centre and the Ezcape Spa and Salon visit www.ezcapespa.com.