2018-01-18 / News

Wickford relocation has allowed Ocean Essence to expand services

BY RYAN GIBBS

Ocean Essence owner Kim Medeiros at her new spa last week in Wickford. She ran the business on Narragansett Avenue for a decade but relocated in mid-December to expand her services. PHOTO BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN Ocean Essence owner Kim Medeiros at her new spa last week in Wickford. She ran the business on Narragansett Avenue for a decade but relocated in mid-December to expand her services. PHOTO BY ANDREA VON HOHENLEITEN Following 15 years of relaxation in Jamestown, Ocean Essence has been rejuvenated 9 miles west of its former location.

The spa opened at 14 Main St. in Wickford just days after vacating 123 Narragansett Ave. The relocation a month ago was bittersweet for owner Kimberly Medeiros, who decided to move across the Verrazzano Bridge to expand her spa. While she treasured her time on the island, Medeiros was looking to buy property, but commercial space in town was at a premium.

“There’s not a whole heck of a lot for sale,” she said.

Instead of investing in property she didn’t own, Medeiros made the tough decision to head west. She made sure, however, not to stray far from her loyal Jamestown clientele. Although they will have to travel a bit farther, the expanded services will benefit the health and wellness of those customers.

“I did it for them,” she said.

Despite the new location, the spa offers the same services, including massage therapy, waxings and facials. The expanded Wickford site also has allowed Medeiros to introduce treatment rooms, a relaxation area and a wellness coach, Catherine Wilson, who doubles as a dietary expert and lifestyle consultant.

Although she’s only been there a month, Medeiros has enjoyed a steady stream of foot traffic, from Christmas shoppers to welcoming villagers. Her regular customers also have popped their familiar faces through the door to congratulate her on the move.

“My clients are amazing,” she said.

Medeiros bought Ocean Essence 10 years ago from Sandy and David Metcalfe. At the time, she was working as a massage therapist in her native Connecticut. That’s when a family member alerted her about an opportunity in an unknown Rhode Island town.

“I had never heard of Jamestown, but I fell in love immediately,” she said. “I decided this was where I wanted to build a life and a business.”

There were three owners before Medeiros reopened Ocean Essence in December 2008. Located in the West Ferry neighborhood just beyond the heart of the village, Medeiros had to promote the spa to attract customers because it was located on the quiet side of North Road.

“It was a slow build at the beginning because I wasn’t known,” she said. “I had to fight a battle against the reputation of the business.”

Townspeople, however, soon learned about Medieros’ passion for her work and the community. From there, business began booming.

“I had no problem finding support and clients,” she said. “It was very word of mouth.”

While on Narragansett Avenue, Medeiros was an active member of the chamber of commerce. Now settled at her new location, Medeiros misses that dynamic, although Wickford has a similar, quaint feel to it. She also misses her walks to Dutch Harbor Boat Yard, where she would enjoy the stunning views of Narragansett Bay during lunchtime.

“Jamestown is a special place,” she said. “I don’t feel like I’m far away. I will continue to come over.”

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