Yorktown, Va. — Erin Snyder Dixon, Contributing Editor — Java is my friend, so it’s a good sign when I head into a salon and they have a coffee bar. Food too? Even better. I can grab a bite to eat and be pampered at the same time. That’s what I found at the Body Shoppe Spa in Yorktown, Va.

The extensive salon menu includes natural nail services ($20-$40), pedicures ($35-$55), waxing, and massage. I had a chance to talk briefly with a family visiting the salon, two women enjoying pedicures and strawberry smoothies, and some of the staff members. There were yummy slices of cake on the counter of the café and a menu of healthy fare for a main course. Two framed certificates tell me that the spa has been awarded Daily Press Choice, Best Spa, and Best Spa/Restaurant 2009. A peek around the corner at the lounge and meeting space reveals a comfy-looking couch and café tables suitable for book club meetings, bridal showers, or just lunch with the girls.

Co-owner Terri Schacht got me settled into the nail room with a hot cup of coffee in a ceramic mug. The soft lighting, immaculate surfaces, and soothing sounds of a nearby waterfall made me feel comfortable. OK, I spend way too many hours working and not enough pampering myself. Even though I was on assignment, it didn’t feel like it. And that was before Chera Loudermilk took over at the nail table. The nail table was sleek and well appointed; the only supplies visible were the manicure bowl (with smooth, black stones in the bottom) perched on a towel… and the file in her hand. I loved the way everything was stashed out of sight.

Terri and her husband, Bobby, bought the Body Shoppe Spa four years ago. In that time, they have been busy making upgrades. Bobby’s handiwork is all over the spa — a new pedicure room with masculine touches, beautiful decorative paint throughout the spa, and a tree branch in bloom hovering over a massage table show his creative side.

The Body Shoppe Spa has embarked on a green initiative by switching to ceramic mugs for in-salon use, recycling foils used in hair services, establishing product refill programs, carrying natural products, and refitting all the lighting. The gifting of disposable implements used in manicure and pedicure services ensures nothing is wasted.  

While I was drawn in by the extras, what I found was a super-hospitable staff with a unique story. I felt like I was part of the family. Terri talked with me about the salon’s involvement with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and other community/charity events. In turn, the community has embraced the salon too. Clients and nearby businesses held fundraisers for a staff member, Christie Henretta, after she was in an auto accident and out of work last year for almost 10 months. Christie told me that as she spent her days in rehab and learned to walk again, the community stayed in touch with cards, encouragement, and even a car wash to help her with expenses.

Before I left, I was invited to sign up for the e-newsletter, given some business cards for referrals, and a magnet with the name of one of their stylists who works with curly hair. Though they are one town over, how could I not go back after all that?

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