In 2005, The Spa Shoppe opened in Brooklin, ontario, a rural area
removed from the bustle of Whitby. Co-owner Dave Harris says it was a desolate
stretch of road that didn’t see much traffic. “It was years of killing ourselves trying to get this thing off the
ground, and then it plateaued,” he recalls.
Relocation, they decided, was the only way The Spa Shoppe was
going to see the growth they envisioned. In 2014, the store moved to south
Whitby, where the company would enjoy increased foot traffic and exposure.
Harris says it’s made a big difference: Within three years, the company had
seen enough growth that it was time to expand.
were going to open a second store in a neighboring town,” Harris says, “but we had the opportunity to
purchase the land. So it was either that or expand to a second location and
have leases at both.” Rather than have two leases, Harris and Wallis thought it
best to outright own the land they are currently on. “We still have the hope of expanding the
business to a second location,” Harris adds.
Doing so is plausible even now, Harris says, but it’s about
finding the right people to run a second location first.
Harris is also enjoying this season. The business is running so smoothly that he can take a personal day without guilt. Once a second location opens, however, he and Wallis will have to work hard for a couple years with trustworthy staff to get it running at the same caliber.
“I would want
to oversee the operation of any new store,” Harris says. “I don’t think you can do that without
feeling comfortable with your employees. Essentially, we have expectations.
[When I’m not at our store] I don’t call them and I’m not freaking out because
we fully trust the people out there right now. It took a really long time to
get those people and to know they’re going to be there for the long term.”
Harris also doesn’t want to start over to get a second location
off the ground. “I don’t want
to destroy my family by working seven days a week for the next couple of
years,” Harris says. “There’s
so much to consider. I know how much of an impact it had opening the first
store, and there’s going to be a lot of growing pains all over again.”
However, Harris knows that if Wallis is with him, a second location can be successful. “If we do it together like we did the first store, then we can at least share the burden,” Harris says.