One Offaly business looking to innovative and fresh ideas during Covid-19

Karen O'Grady


Karen O'Grady


One Offaly business looking to innovative and fresh ideas during Covid-19

The Buddha Lounge

A lot has changed since business owner, Antoinette Larkin, first closed the doors of the 'Healing Touch Holistic' centre due to the lockdown in March and then having to deal with subsequent lockdown restrictions over the summer months.

This week, Antoinette spoke to the 'Tribune' about how she has moved to get her business open again with some new and innovative ideas.

Pre Covid, Antoinette's husband Brian was thinking of some ideas for the outside space the pair had for kids' camps and outdoor retreats etc. The basic concept was conceived during their Christmas holidays away in the Canary Islands and they had planned ot put something in place for Spring 2021.

Covid changed things and Brian decided during the first lockdown that he would focus on supporting Antoinette's business to try to “pivot” how her yoga and workshops could operate and now, Antoinette is about open the 'Buddha Lounge' this weekend.

Firstly, he installed a 200 square metre dome. Followed by cover the area in Astro turf grass which was reclaimed from a soccer pitch in London. He then created furniture and fixings with upcycle pallets. “We invested in a mobile café trailer. We can now cater for up to 15 yogis socially distanced in a class at 3metres apart. The outside cover by a pergola can cater for seating of up to 20 café patrons. When there are no classes on the yoga dome will be used for café dining also. This can cater for up to 40 seated guests. We hope other instructors and similar minded people will make use of the space while Covid has disrupted the use of their facilities.”

“We intend to have music and entertainment by local artists and groups to set a unique chill out ambience for the café. We are focused on quality of service and guest experience. We have teamed up with the countries best coffee and tea suppliers. Both of which are supplying organic and sustainably sourced goods. Our herbal teas will provide a unique offering to the locality. I will be running tasting evenings which will explain how all the different herbs work for your wellness in the tea infusion process.”

“Along with that our tea supplier provides wonderful products which compliment the different teas such as seaweed foot baths etc. There is a chakra range of tea which ties in nicely with my ethos at the centre and this creates a greater experience for the locality. Initially we will be serving gluten free snacks and we hope to expand on this in the new year. I’m working on a raw cold press juice kitchen which again is a unique offering which will tie in with my wellness programmes. Raw cold press juices are self titled. “Raw” ingredients. “

“Therefore we must put in place the highest quality prep facility in order to provide these juices in a safe way in terms of environmental health and safety. We hope to have this in place before Christmas or early 2021. The space will also allow for the sale of wellness and health products which are currently unavailable locally. All of these functions allow Healing Touch Holistic Wellness Center to provide exactly that- A complete holistic offering.”

“The space will be open to all patrons. Those who are currently attending or utilising some of my services will be familiar with our ethos. This space we hope will encourage those who are curious about the holistic approach to wellness to come and visit to learn more without the need to commit to attending a class or treatment. For some it will be a calm place to chill out, relax and unwind. That’s the basic concept and we will try to evolve as our visitors give feedback and we learn more of what they need and want.”