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Amherst’s Damaris Spa and Wellness Centre under new ownership

Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin announced Saturday she has sold Damaris Spa and Wellness Centre in downtown Amherst to Gillian VanSnick.
Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin announced Saturday she has sold Damaris Spa and Wellness Centre in downtown Amherst to Gillian VanSnick. - Darrell Cole

Smith-McCrossin sells successful business to Gillian VanSnick

AMHERST – A popular downtown business is changing hands with sale of Damaris Spa and Wellness Centre by Cumberland North’s MLA to Gillian VanSnick.

Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin announced the sale via a Facebook post on Saturday.

“This is good news, it just feels right,” Smith-McCrossin said on Sunday. “The timing was right for her and the timing was right for me. The fact I have an employee buying the business is something I’ve very proud of. It’s almost like keeping it in the family.”

Smith-McCrossin opened Damaris in 2010 in the space formerly occupied by Lawton’s Drugs that moved to a new building on the corner of Lawrence and Victoria Street. She said she opened the business as one of her projects to try and promote wellness and a holistic approach to health care.

The business grew from private therapists for counselling and nutritional support through Simply For Life to include a multitude of spa and relaxation services and products through Aveda.

She later brought well women clinics to the business and later bought a building around the corner where she established Manasseh Market. She moved the private counselling services and Simply For Life to that location.

“Like any business there’s always risk involved and you don’t really know how it’s going to go because it was the first spa in Amherst, but right away we had the support of the community and that customer base has grown every year,” she said.

She is also proud of what was accomplished in taking an abandoned store and returning it as an active business once again.

“When we took over that location it had been abandoned for a while and it was really something to see what it became,” she said.

She credits her younger sister, Kim Gould, for her work in growing the business and is pleased that she will remain as a manager with Damaris. She also thanked Theresa Hunter for her support through the years as well as Christine MacDonald and her friend Anne Sharpe from Aveda, who showed confidence in the business and supported its growth into an Aveda Concept Spa.

“The business will continue without any bumps and of course all gift certificates will be honoured by the new owner,” she said.

darrell.cole@amherstnews.ca

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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