2007-12-06 / News

New owners breathe fresh life into Ocean Esscence Spa

By Michaela Kennedy

Sandy and David Metcalfe Sandy and David Metcalfe Ocean Essence Spa, located at 123 Narragansett Ave., changed hands as of Nov. 1, and the new operators are promising exciting changes. Owners Sandy and David Metcalfe invite everyone to enjoy some wine and refreshments and meet their brand new staff at the grand opening on Saturday, Dec. 8, from 4 to 8 p.m.

Sandy and David have crossed the bridge from Wickford. They harbor a love of the island, and frequently shop and dine here. The couple is keen to give back to the community with their version of happiness. From massages to manicures, facials to waxings, Ocean Essence is now a fullystaffed spa with a walk-in, open atmosphere. "We are introducing a whole new concept," says Sandy. She and her husband plan to create a spot where people not only come for treatments, but also drop by the reception area for a relaxing break and a cup of cappuccino.

The staff includes three massage specialists and two aestheticians, all with impressive resumes. One aesthetician previously owned a spa for 10 years, and the other managed a spa for five years. The massage therapists also come with extensive training, offering a variety of treatments from deep tissue to hot stones.

The Metcalfes are experienced shop owners who have made a splash in the last two years with a ready-to-wear retail store called Pink Oasis in East Greenwich. Premium denim and other specialty clothing items have boosted the store to a must-stop shopping destination. "We're going to bring a little bit of Pink Oasis to the island," notes Sandy. Snazzy spa T-shirts and sterling silver from a local producer will also be sold at Ocean Essence as part of a retail complement to the treatments and skin products available.

When asked why she expanded from a clothing shop to a spa treatment center, Sandy brims with smiles. "Since I was a little girl I always wanted to own a spa. It's a girly-girl kind of thing," she recalls. Well-equipped to handle the challenge, Sandy studied beauty and fashion, and also earned a business degree. Armed with a dream and the beauty know-how, Sandy exudes confidence that she and her partner are in the right place at the right time. "I want a friendly, warm place." Husband David also smiles, adding, "I'm just the helper."

Business integrity is important to the couple, they point out. Sandy and David both emphasize they are creating a space that is completely different from any other merchant on the island. "We don't want to compete with anyone," they agree. Sandy tells of the jeweler she turned away from their East Greenwich store because the same product was being sold across the street. "I don't like to do anything unethical," she says.

Sandy and David are keen on tuning into the needs of the island residents, and are still considering whether they will have closed days or be open seven days a week. They encourage old and new clients to book appointments, even if it's on a Sunday. "The idea is making people feel good," Sandy notes. "That makes me happy."

Yomana Sukkar, one of the new massage therapists and Reiki II practitioner, praises her new employers. "They are the most humble and peaceful people I know," Yomana comments. "It's going to be a blast."

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