Taking health to heart

Yafay Wellness, a business collective featuring organic food and beauty services, opens on Second Ave.

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
Reader Staff

Those looking for healthy alternatives and ways to incorporate more self care into their lives in the new year are likely to find something to fit the bill at Yafay Wellness — a new collective of businesses in Sandpoint focused on providing a hub for health.

“We’re trying to create a space for the community where people can come in and feel a sense that we want to offer everything healthy and everything wellness, from the products you use on your body to the food you consume,” said Yafay founder Jen Dillon, who also owns natural beauty brand Earthlab Cosmetics. “You are what you eat, and your skin is your largest organ — it absorbs the products that you use.”

Yafay Wellness, located at 202 N. Second Ave., opened Dec. 21 and currently features the Northern Squeeze cold-pressed juice bar and vegan breakfast menu; the Rawlicious Organic Bistro, led by head chef Ethan Dillon, serving lunch; a full lineup of natural beauty products; massage therapy; and Dr. Brooke Heather, a naturopathic and holistic doctor of alternative medicine with experience in biofeedback.

Dillon already hopes to grow Yafay, which she said is the Hebrew word for “beautiful.” Aside from more services, including organic manicures and pedicures, she also plans to recruit more local artisans.

“I want to bring in more products from locals that fit with our wellness initiative,” Dillon said. “We want everything to be as clean as possible — non-toxic products.”

One such local entity joining forces with Dillon at Yafay is Northern Squeeze, a cold-pressed juice bar and vegan eatery previously located in the Oak Street Food Court. Callie Kellogg, who launched the business in 2021 with her mom Tamra, said that Northern Squeeze wasn’t easy to operate from a truck; processing produce and pressing juice is more conducive to the kitchen at Yafay.

“So it’s really nice to be in a building,” she said with a laugh, noting that the Northern Squeeze truck will likely come back into use as an extension of the brick-and-mortar location.

Kellogg said she is excited to be a part of Yafay to continue “giving people a healthy alternative.”

[We’re] showing people that there are ways to stay healthy, especially right now,” she said. “People are so quick to run to the doctor and they’re scared to go out, but we offer a lot of awesome services that will keep you feeling good.”

The Greek chicken pita, available at Rawlicious Organic Bistro inside Yafay Wellness. Photos by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey.

Dillon said she is actively seeking local products, just like Northern Squeeze juices and Bonner Boocha — a kombucha business also featured at Yafay — to enhance the variety of products at the collective.

“There are so many unique small businesses that aren’t getting exposure,” she said, “and they can’t afford to lease a 3,000- to 4,000-square-foot building.”

While Dillon has been busy with Earthlab, she said that launching a collaborative effort featuring food and health services has always been her goal. With Yafay Wellness, that dream is being realized.

“This was really what I envisioned for many, many years — a collective of like-minded people offering really clean products and food to our community,” she said.

To learn more about Yafay Wellness, or to contact Jen Dillon about participating in the collective, visit yafaywellness.com. Yafay Wellness is open 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. The Northern Squeeze juice bar is available during all open hours. The Rawlicious Organic Bistro is open for lunch 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Place to-go orders by calling 208-627-5335.

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