STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Formerly an interior project specialist for Lowe’s Home Improvement, Cathy Davide moved to Albuquerque, N.M., to manage her niece’s CBD shop in 2019.
“Lowe’s cancelled the program, so I was in need of a job,” she recalled.
“I couldn’t believe the testimonials from the customers, so many were repeat customers. It has so many benefits — pain relief, reduced stress and anxiety, improved sleep, increased focus, and my all-time favorite, the children whose seizures subsided because of CBD,” said Davide. “I was thrilled to represent products that alleviated so many different ailments for people of all ages. And there’s CBD products for our four-legged friends too.”
When she moved back to Staten Island, she teamed up with former co-worker, Luis Acevedo, and her ex-husband, Michael Mistretta, to open Bella Vita CBD & Wellness in Tottenville. After coronavirus-related delays, the wellness center finally opened on Dec. 1, 2020.
And, now, during the pandemic, when people have become highly stressed, the trio said they feel their business is even more relevant.
“I have two adult children here in the New York area who I missed, so in May of 2019 I moved back, and Luis, Michael and I decided to open a shop here. The shop is located in the new Bridgeview Plaza, which was under construction when we signed the lease in August 2019. Then the pandemic occurred during the build-out [of the storefront], so the opening was delayed over a year. … There was so much anticipation to the opening. …We’re delighted we can offer a place of wellness and relaxation in this stressful time,” said Davide.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
“Himalayan salt therapy improves respiratory functions, relives sinus pressure, reduces eczema and psoriasis, and it improves skin conditions,” explained Davide. “The fitness pod offers deep-tissue massage, infra-red light therapy, weight management, detoxification and accelerates the healing process.”
Through word-of-mouth referrals, the business has already begun to pick up steam, she said.
“We want people to believe in the products and come back,” said Davide.
FOLLOWING COVID PROTOCOLS
Acevedo said that even though the business has proper protocols in place that adhere to coronavirus mandates, people are still cautious to come in for a treatment during the pandemic.
“We have produced videos to show our cleanliness. The videos show us spraying everything down,” he said.
However, Davide noted that with many people experiencing high anxiety during the pandemic they have had many customers “looking for a sanctuary for a little while.”
“People will come in and say they are filled with anxiety and can’t sleep, and the salt room helps relax them,” she said. “We just want people to feel good. …In the fitness pod you can do a high heat detoxification to cleanse the body, and you can also do a deep tissue massage.”
And the owners said they hope to expand in the future.
“All of the people involved in the shop are empathetic, caring and educated about the product and services, and are happy to offer our wellness methods to the community. If successful, we plan to open additional shops, and spread wellness to other communities,” said Davide.
BELLA VITA CBD & WELLNESS AT A GLANCE
Address: 4885 Arthur Kill Rd.
New Businesses in Focus is a weekly column that relates the stories of new Staten Island businesses owners.
If you have a new business on Staten Island, e-mail [email protected].
Tracey Porpora is the business writer and Sunday manager for SiLive.com/Staten Island Advance.
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