9.22.2011

Interview with Jim Corcoran - owner of Ste. Anne's Spa


Image from Ste. Anne's official website
Sarah Velasco: For readers that do not know about Ste. Anne's, can you tell them a little bit about it?
Jim Corcoran: Ste. Anne's is a place where people find a unique mixture of casual country living, relaxed, taste tantalizing culinary experiences, accentuated with therepeutic spa treatments all within the stone walls of a rambling, restored country castle on 400 acres of rolling countryside just an hour east of Toronto.


Sarah Velasco: What is your role in the company, and what things do you do?
Jim Corcoran: I am the general manager.  I am responsible for long term planning, leadership and overseeing day to day operations.  I also dabble in farming.


Sarah Velasco: How did you get into this business?
Jim Corcoran: My family had started Ste. Anne's as a Bed & Breakfast in 1985.  I was working in Toronto in the computer business.  On a long weekend in the summer of 1990 I stopped by for a visit and ended up pitching in as a couple who had been hired to operated the B&B had moved on unexpectedly.  I took some brochures with me as I continued on my long weekend  drive through Prince Edward County and offered to distribute them to other B&Bs on my travels.  While crossing the street in Wellington, I had a strong sense that I should leave my computer job to play a role in the family business.  I returned to work and gave my notice.  I started working full time at Ste. Anne's in  September and haven't looked back since.


Sarah Velasco: What is different about going to this spa?
Jim Corcoran: The people who work here are very genuine and friendly and will bend over backwards to make sure guests achieve a relaxed state.  The setting is spectacular in it's natural beauty.  Ste. Anne's is very casual and unpretentious.  Guests commonly spend their entire visit in fluffy terry bathrobes.


Sarah Velasco: Other than for getting away and relaxing, are there any other reasons to go to a spa? (ex health benefits etc)
Jim Corcoran: We believe that stress  is a base cause of many illnesses and discontent.  By helping people relax a visit to a spa can begin the process of healing body, mind and spirit.


Sarah Velasco: What would you recommend for a first-timer at Ste Annes?
Jim Corcoran: I would recommend sharing this experience with a close friend or lover.  Relaxing together will help you reconnect and enjoy each other's company in new ways.


Sarah Velasco: What is the most popular service/s clients receive?
Jim Corcoran: Swedish Massage


Sarah Velasco: How much on average should readers expect to pay?
Jim Corcoran: $325 per person/day will get you an all inclusive experience.


Sarah Velasco: Have there been any major changes to the spa since you started?
Jim Corcoran: Yes.  First we added spa services, then fine dining, then we added fitness facilities, followed by a mud bath, then we added more spa rooms, and our spa cottages, our popular fieldstone grotto outdoor hydrotherapy feature, more spa rooms, and more guest rooms.  We recently opened the Dorset  Spa in Port Hope, a smaller, more exclusive sister spa to Ste. Anne's.  We are always adding and upgrading our facilities.


Sarah Velasco: Are there going to be any up and coming events happening at Ste. Annes that readers should look forward to?
Jim Corcoran: Ste. Anne's will be launching an exciting new skin care product line, and adding to our home made food line.