By Michael Abbey
I met on a sunny Saturday afternoon with Annie Létourneau and Keir Menzies at the Glebe location of The Ten Spot. We chatted for about a half hour. The shop was bustling with activity which, late on a Saturday afternoon, said something about how well things are going. I was immediately curious about the name of the parlour, and Menzies mentioned the name has been around since 2006 when Kristen Gale founded the company in Toronto.
“Apparently she started the business on a whim and got the idea one night as she finished writing her business plan,” he mentioned. Létourneau pointed out that “the name is taken from our motto. We want our clients to feel they are a 10.” She alluded to customers rating the service at The Ten Spot as excellent, a 10 out of 10. I mentioned I saw some other messages on the name that were equally complimentary.
They opened in December 2018, though the idea had been coming to fruition for a year. “Keir and I used to live in the Alta Vista – Kilborn area. We would actually come to the Glebe every weekend as we liked the vibe.” There really was no choice for them; It had to be the Glebe.
I was curious as to whether their spot in the Glebe (north of Clemow) has had any effect on their success.
“When I saw this area with a park, it was so right,” said Létourneau. “We took the corner spot, since we had first dibs.” Menzies pointed out that the location was split in two after the previous tenant, a gym, folded.
I asked if there was competition in the Glebe in their core offerings and market share. Létourneau believes not. “I do not see other businesses as competition. I think there’s a market for the others.” Létourneau speaks French, which opens up more opportunities with existing and prospective clientele as the business grows.
Menzies and Létourneau now reside in Luskville. The commute is about 40 minutes. They travel together and therefore enjoy using the high-occupancy vehicle lane. He teaches at the University of Ottawa as a member of the faculty of Health Sciences. His discipline is molecular biology, concentrating on aging.
Annie Létourneau is in the store full time. She says they are hoping to tap into a bigger market. When I saw the store as we chatted for a while, it definitely says “ready.” The décor is a combination of white and orange and the way the establishment is organized speaks of how ready they are. Business has been growing steadily since opening and the sky is the limit.
They employ eight people and for now Létourneau works seven days a week. “This is my baby,” she said, and the hope is that somewhat like a human baby, the shop will become less dependent on Létourneau’s being there all the time.
Létourneau wants the consumer to know why they embarked on The Ten Spot initiative. Whenever she went to a parlour for services, Létourneau says, “I really enjoyed myself and I wanted to be a part of other people feeling what I was feeling.” The Ten Spot is committed to the best business practices in the spa/parlour arena.
Létourneau and Menzies are proud of their dedication to quality products, cleanliness and an approach to working with their clientele that breeds success. Menzies ran a Kumon centre in the not-too-distant past, so serving the public is nothing new to this couple. His familiarity with franchising was valuable as they got started with The Ten Spot.
The Ten Spot takes the usual credit cards as well as cash.
Michael Abbey is a retired high-tech professional and bridge enthusiast who writes about business for the Glebe Report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.