Michelle St. Pierre spoke in a subdued tone as she guided a tour of the new St. Pierre Massage and Spa location near downtown Napa. While her quiet demeanor reflected the spa’s “whisper-only” policy, the owner’s enthusiasm occasionally caused a brief outburst in violation of the rule.
“I’m really excited to be here,” she gushed, pushing the decibel level. “Our other rooms were small before, so it’s so nice to work in a larger area.”
St. Pierre was referring to the recent move from the facility’s original location in River Park, where she and her family opened St. Pierre Center for Massage in 2006. Earlier this year, the business moved into its new location on Clay Street at California Boulevard, expanding its therapeutic massage services to include more spa treatments.
“We wanted to offer more pampering services per requests from our customers,” St. Pierre said. “They wanted the same quality but with additional services — more of a ‘one-stop shop’ place.”
The standalone building and quiet neighborhood surrounding the new location are a contrast to the busy, shopping-center atmosphere of River Park, where, according to St. Pierre, the massage-only business built up a healthy clientele over the past six years.
“When we started, we had a handful of therapists and just did massages,” she said. “The focus was providing really high-quality massage at an affordable price in a comfortable environment. And it grew and kept growing.”
Now with a staff of about 20 therapists and other employees, St. Pierre Massage and Spa offers a full range of “feel good” services from 9 a.m. to
9 p.m. seven days a week. St. Pierre said the new location accommodates up to 10 customers at a time and can usually accept same-day appointments.
Adding to its various massage treatments, the center offers a full spa menu of organic body wraps, various facials, skin therapy, pedicures and manicures. St. Pierre said that many of the offerings are unique, such as the vegan-organic nail treatments.
“I don’t know if anyone else does this,” she said. “The nail polish has no formaldehyde or other chemicals that could harm your body. Also, we use a (nail) gel product here that uses an LED light for curing instead of a UV light, which recent studies have shown can be harmful.”
A former college softball pitcher from Thousand Oaks, Calif., St. Pierre earned an athletic scholarship to Ohio State and later St. Mary’s College. After graduation she worked in sales in the Bay Area.
“I did well, but wasn’t completely fulfilled,” she said. “My passion at the time was alternative medicine. I really wanted to walk down that path and eventually make a career out of helping other people feel good and helping my family feel good.”
After becoming a licensed herbalist and studying advanced massage in upstate New York, St. Pierre returned to California, settling in Napa and later opening the massage center in River Park with her father, Robert, an international businessman. From the beginning, St. Pierre said, the center drew an even mix of locals and tourists and thrived in the busy shopping center.
Back at the new location, St. Pierre navigated through the cocoa-colored rooms adorned with linen wall hangings and simple, natural furnishings. Fountains, candles and gentle music add to the relaxing atmosphere. Guests are offered cucumber water or herbal tea. The center includes three massage rooms for individuals and two “couples” rooms, plus several rooms dedicated to spa treatments. Landscaping surrounding the building features native medicinal plants like lavender, rosemary, sage and elderflower.
“We want to eventually use some of these plants in our spa waters and maybe some of our spa services as well,” St. Pierre said.
The spa uses natural products that are mostly organic and plant-based, she said.
“We’re very mindful about this because we know whatever we put on a person’s body is going to affect them internally,” she said. “Anything you put on your skin, you are absorbing — it’s as if you are eating it. So we’re really careful with the products that we choose. It’s really an important part of your whole spa experience.”
St. Pierre Massage and Spa’s one-hour massage sessions start at $85 and most facial treatments start at $75. A popular option for local clients, St. Pierre said, is the Spa Membership ($69), a program that includes a monthly one-hour massage and significant discounts on other massage and spa services.