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“I’ve been on the journey of natural and organic living for quite some time, and I said one day too my aunt, ‘what about that recipe? Can you get it for me?’ I made and I realized: if I can make this, I can make other things,” Christie Ontko owner and operator of Freshwater Retreat and Remedies retraces some of the steps regarding her island entrepreneurial journey.
The “this” that she made is affectionately called, Grandma’s Salve.
She explains what the container contains, “camphor, pine sap, lard, bees wax, flax seed oil and it was my great-grandmother’s recipe on the island here and we grew up not having Neosporin or anything but we used this Grandma’s Salves for all of our cuts and bruises and mishaps.”
Freshwater Retreat and Remedies is nothing of a mishap, but a step into the direction of the “trend” in that the PIB crowd won’t always want to party, party, party.
She stresses she isn’t anti-alcohol by any means, “I drink alcohol. I think moderation is the key. When we’re out of balance we’re out of balance.”
She opened the couples retreat and adjoining wellness center about five years ago on South Bass Island. This true island girl, author and businesswoman is adamant about pointing out that she does not operate a spa offering services one might find on the mainland, such as, waxing, haircuts and color, manis, pedis, and eyelash extensions.
She is however, besides a true Island Girl, the creator of OntkOrganix, a line containing organic balms, skin care, even deodorant she makes herself.
“I’m very picky about what goes in my body, on my body,” Ontko voices, “I dived in for my own selfish reasons.”
Massage, Thai massage and Reiki are part of the wellness menu. Masseuse Mary Ann Billings makes the trek from Bay Village to work on guests and visitors.
“Tai Yoga Massage is a massage where I work on the energy lines of the body with palm presses, relaxation massage, acupressure and some gentle stretching. I bring my clients into some yoga poses on the table and massage them while their in the yoga poses. Especially the locals here really enjoy the service because they’re working so very hard, on their feet, all day, every day, taking care of the guests that come to Put-in-Bay. So they really enjoy getting their legs stretched out and worked on,” Billings expressed.
The “spa” segment with Freshwater Retreat and Remedies aired on Episode I of Josie in Paradise. Watch here.
Josie in Paradise airs every Sunday night at 9:30 on At&t UVerse from Key West to Boca Raton, on Ohio’s X5 Roku Channel and here.