When Jodi Pendry opened her wellness centre and café in the fall of 2020, she brought a unique business to the Hickson landscape, one dominated by agricultural commerce.
Among the services offered are massage therapy and osteopathy along with the café providing customers specialty coffees, looseleaf teas, signature sandwiches, and baked goods. But Jodi had something else in mind and that idea has now come to life. She says despite delays in getting the Nordic Spa up and running, it was worth the wait. “We have had a lot of challenges we didn’t think we would face but its open and people are really enjoying it. That makes my day when I see that.”
Jodi used to live near Orangeville and often visited a Nordic Spa in Collingwood which is how she came up with the idea of bringing one to Hickson. “I loved it. When I moved here it was just too far to get to and they were so busy that even if I did go there was no guarantee to even get in so we decided Oxford County would be a great place to have one.”
She adds the spa experience is all about relaxation but in a different way than most people are used to. “Its where you go from hot to cold. Its really good for immunity, circulation, heart health, and recovery from sports injuries.” She adds the steam room is wonderful for respiratory health and there are three options for the hot side of the therapy. “We have our hot pool at 102 degrees, our eucalyptus steam room, and our wood-fired sauna. For cold we have a cold plunge, a cold shower if you aren’t as daring, and the outdoor firepit to sit outside and enjoy the outdoors. The purpose is to go from hot to cold and then relax.”
Another highlight is a teepee with a fire inside that was installed by a company called Mukwa Teepees from Vancouver. “They did a little ceremony with us, and it was a part of the Anishinaabe culture which is all about respect, no judgement, and kindness. It aligns exactly with the environment we are creating here,” adds Pendry. “Everything has a purpose with the culture.”
The spa has been open for two weeks and so far, and Jodi says the amount of business is encouraging. “I think the nice thing about this is that it is an affordable way to create a little getaway for people. We have been really impressed. We have twenty people booked in today (Dec. 13) and we are hoping to see an average of at least that daily, or more. We feel we can fit 20 people comfortably at one time in the Nordic area itself and we guarantee our guests three hours and if there are no bookings afterwards, they can stay longer.”
Oxford County and East Zorra-Tavistock may not have the tourism attraction that Niagara Falls or even Stratford has, but some visitors to Terra Nova are asking what else there is to do in the area. “What we have already seen, and this is the fun part, people are asking questions about where can we stay? Where do you recommend eating and what else in the area is there to do? It aligns so well with tourism and supporting Oxford County.” Quebec is Canada’s number one destination for Nordic spas with over 30 but Ontario has just three with the addition of Terra Nova. “Quebec thrives with them so here’s hoping we can follow suit,” she says.
Among those on hand for the spa’s ribbon-cutting ceremony were Mayor of East Zorra-Tavistock, Phil Schaefer, and Ontario Senator Rob Black. Black says the “mental and physical health has become very important in today’s society, not only in cities, but in the agricultural community of Oxford County and beyond.” He added his congratulations to entrepreneurs like Jodi and (husband) Peter for having the foresight to become the leaders of today working together, and helping communities grow with their new spa and café concept in promotion of good physical and mental health.
For more information visit www.terranovanordic.ca.