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Elm Street revival

Old Deerfield bakery houses salons

SOUTH DEERFIELD — On Elm Street these days, it’s common to see people carrying yoga mats and towels, walking out with fresh, organically-infused haircuts, seemingly refreshed.

That’s new. For some time after the Elm Street Bakery closed, the Elm Street section of town seemed vacant.

But this year, three women decided to renovate and refresh the former bakery at 10 Elm St., helping to bring back some bustle to the village center.

They hope the new businesses will represent a revival of the South Deerfield Village, drawing life into a previously forlorn neighborhood.

Jody Fontaine owns Pure Yoga and Wellness Studio in the back of the building, where she offers yoga, pilates, fitness reiki and massage classes. In the storefront is an organic hair salon, Pure Beauty Studio, owned by Kelli Richardson, and a licensed master aesthetician, Kate Franklin specializes on waxing and facial services.

The transformation of the bakery building began earlier this year when Richardson started searching for a space to open her own hair salon specializing in natural organic products.

The Greenfield woman has worked in the area for 10 years. She owned Salon Divine in Amherst for six years and travelled part-time to a Boston salon each week. Two years ago, Richardson sold her Amherst business. She had a two-year non-compete clause, so in the meantime she rented a space in South Deerfield.

“I had been looking at this place for over a year,” Richardson said. “South Deerfield is like a diamond in the rough.”

With its cheaper rent prices compared to Amherst and its proximity to her family, the Elm Street space seemed perfect to Richardson.

“I decided to stay here and bring something different to town,” Richardson said.

When she secured the space, Richardson asked friends Fontaine and Franklin to join her

She met Franklin in Amherst in 2009. Franklin graduated from the New England School of Esthetics in 2005 and has eight years of experience specializing in waxing and facial services. From 2005 to 2009, Franklin ran an upscale day spa on Martha’s Vineyard. The Cape Cod native continues to work part-time in Martha’s Vineyard for wedding parties.

Fontaine, a Conway resident, has an extensive background in fitness. Twelve years ago, she began her career as a personal trainer. Later she earned her certification in pilates, water aerobics and kick boxing. She has taught skiing for 20 years at Berkshire East.

Seven years ago, a friend invited Fontaine to do yoga in Shelburne Falls. After two years, Fontaine received her certification in the 200-hour Embodyoga training at the Yoga Center Amherst with Patty Townsend.

At first, opening a yoga studio, hair salon and skin studio seemed daunting, Richardson said — the Elm Street building was in need of major renovation.

And Franklin also had misgivings ... she was working at one of the best spas in New England, the Cranwell Resort and Spa in Lenox.

But she took the risk and made the change in the hopes of building a local base.

The hair and skin studios opened in May and recently had a grand opening.

The hair and facial studios are open by appointment, but Franklin and Richardson said they both try to accommodate clients as best they can. The yoga studio features a variety of yoga styles, in addition to pilates, reiki, massage and tai chi with four other certified teachers, including Lindel Hart, director of Hart Yoga in Buckland. It offers various times throughout the week and on weekends for yoga class.

The three businesses compliment one another with each one emphasizing health and wellness.

Richardson offers stylish haircuts using organic hair products. And Franklin also uses a 100 percent organic product line, which includes organic soy wax, Keyano Aromtics, and H2t glycolics from California. Fontaine’s yoga studio provides the all natural physical side of the three-part building.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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