BY MORGAN LEGEL
Several Guam businesses are looking to the future and bounding back in what is still a tough market.
For some others in the Mariana Islands, the picture is not yet as pretty. See “The going is tough” on this page.
Natural Ginger Spa, in the RBC Building in Tamuning, opened in September 2019, but recently expanded into the space next door, which was previously occupied by Rotten Apple Restaurant.
The spa is focuses on the healing and restorative power of fresh ginger and ginger oil and includes services like fresh ginger healing treatments and foot care; ginger oil body and scalp treatments; holistic massage, massage during pregnancy, lymphatic drainage, trigger point massage — which aims to relieve pain, warm stone therapy, massages for couples; and an organic salt scrub.
XiaoHua “Tina” Satterfield, owner, said the spa has gained an additional four beds in treatment rooms and four new treatment chairs, totaling seven each, and added two more full-time employees.
“We signed the contract in November 2021, and it took quite a few months to fix up,” she said. The new half of the spa, which now includes the main entrance, opened for business on May 8, just in time for the Mother’s Day rush, although Satterfield said customers have been plenty otherwise.
“There’s always more customers coming in and wanting to try our natural services, and there just wasn’t enough room,” she said. “I felt so bad for the customers we had to turn away or that had to wait for openings.”
Since the renovations just over a month ago, she said “I’ve seen even more customers coming in through the doors too.”
With the 800 square-foot recent addition, the spa totals 1,005 square feet, which more than quadruples the original footprint.
“The ginger treatments are easier to focus on now too,” Satterfield said. “There’s enough room to spread everything out and make sure we have enough product for all of the customers.”
Natural Ginger Spa is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Signature Coffee Bar also recently expanded, but in the form of a second location. The coffee shop’s first location is in the Agana Shopping Center, on the second floor above Von’s Chicken; the newest location is in Tamuning, across from the 76/Circle K gas station.
The first location opened at the end of 2021, with the second following close on the heels and welcoming in guests from February this year.
What makes Signature Coffee special, according to Shawn Capil, the Tamuning location’s general manager, is that it focuses more on the artisanal and craft side of coffee.
“One of the unique things is that it’s a third generation of coffee – it’s artisanal, in-depth,” he said.
Capil defined the first generation of coffee as being mass-produced and having it being available to everyone; while the second generation is the café-level of the beverage, which is made-well and closer to other coffee shops on island.
“It’s being transparent about what’s in the coffee and where it’s from,” he said. “It’s eco-conscious, with direct trading from farms. I feel like it gives a good brand image to our product as well, and that’s what sets us apart.”
He also said another factor that sets them apart is the fact that they’re important from various different foreign brands, including one for flavored syrups.
“We’re sourcing from foreign countries for our products, like a French company that produces 1883 syrups,” he said. “Hopefully that elevates us and brings us more exposure.”
The fact is, he said, that Signature’s goal is to bring out the flavors within the coffee, with artisanal and precise measuring.
Signature Coffee Bar imports Intelligentsia coffee, and is the only provider currently on island. The shop also sells teas, which are Intelligentsia, along with pre-bottled beverages.
“I’m very passionate about what I’m doing, I want to go above and beyond for the customers,” Capil said.
The coffee bar will also have food options, but is still nailing down the menu.
“We’re still testing our recipes and coming up with new ideas,” Capil said. “Our menu isn’t really set for food items yet; we’re constantly pushing the limits and popping in new items via our social media.”
For now, the shop is focusing on tarts — egg tarts, pecan tarts and cheesecake tarts and cakes.
Signature Coffee Bar is co-owned by John Jung, Yunog Yang and Hun “Max” Koo, who also owns Le Balance.
In other business news, Pacific Bay Hotel in Tumon, next to Churrasco Brazilian Steakhouse and Salad Bar, is currently undergoing a renovation and name change to Hotel Tano. The Park family’s ownership has not changed.
The Micronesia Mall food court has had numerous openings recently, including Sizzle Grill, Tiger Sugar Guam and Chapter One Dumpling House.
In addition, Super Happy Mart in Barrigada is opening a second location near the East West Business Center in Tamuning, but in its own property. The original Barrigada location has 100 employees. mbj