Happy July Rowan County! While much of life is focused on the events going on right now, I know many of us are looking forward to what’s next. I’d like to focus on a great (and health-centered) business that will be opening right in the center of Downtown Salisbury.

When many people think of health, they think of things like going to the doctor, getting vaccines and physicals before school starts, being physically fit, and eating healthy. However, health encompasses so much more than those traditional indicators. Our community is impacted by financial health, environmental health, consumer health, economic health, and other vital conditions like having access to food and affordable housing. Health can actually be thought of as an extension of well-being.

Rowan County, and Salisbury as the county seat, is unique in that this consideration is coming to the forefront as businesses work to make Rowan a healthier place to live – economically, environmentally, and with a wellness focus.

The Heart of Salisbury 

One such business is the “Heart of Salisbury which was previously known as “Heart of Yoga” here in Salisbury. Wivianny DeHaas, the founder of Heart of Salisbury, transformed a former-bakery on Lee St., bringing wrap-around wellness services into Salisbury. Their mission is to increase quality of life in Salisbury and Rowan County by creating a wellness and arts community. The building contains a retail store, two yoga studios that double as art exhibits and open spaces for other events, a teaching/demonstration kitchen, and offices for licensed therapists, massage therapists, a functional medicine nurse practitioner, clinical psychologist, registered dietitian, and additional wellness professionals.

DeHaas’s approach is bringing positive energy to Rowan County. She knows where each and every one of her products are from and how the artisans/creators are treated. It’s something many of us might not think about as we pick up items from Marshalls or order from Amazon, but each of those products must be made by someone, somewhere. DeHaas makes sure that the creators are given a fair or living wage and that the items are fair trade. The Heart of Salisbury shop offers ethically made products that support healthy living. Their apparel philosophy test is simple: “Each piece of clothing must feel as comfortable as yoga clothes and must be made following yoga ethics, or the Yamas and Niyamas.” What’s great is that every purchase contributes to better lives for other people and boosts our local economy. Moreover, Wivianny has worked hard to ensure that price points for items aren’t more than expected and are reasonable for what product you are getting. I, for one, am super excited for the local pottery, handmade hemp and bamboo shirts, and artisan candles on the store shelves.


Check out some of the clothes Heart of Salisbury offers!


Wrap-Around Wellness

As mentioned, this studio really provides wrap-around wellness services that are much needed in our community. Leaders agree that we should be focused on how to make Rowan County the healthiest place to live. I am excited to learn that we will have more options for physical and mental wellness classes like yoga. DeHaas brings new energy with a studio that is fitted for acro-yoga, which I’ve never seen in Rowan before. Also, they will be offering a belly dance class! If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know that I’m a fan of the brewery yoga at Morgan Ridge and love picking up classes with friends at our local YMCA’s. Many of the instructors for Heart of Salisbury are local Rowan-ites as well! So, when you attend you know you will see a friendly face.


Yoga mats set up and ready for class!


The Lost Art of Cooking

Next, and the thing I’m most excited about, is the teaching/demonstration kitchen! My husband and I love to cook and have taken several date night classes at places like Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma. When the world starts opening up, I’m ready to jump in to plan a date night or girl’s night where we can use local ingredients and learn new recipes. The focus on local food is important to me as I both want to support our agri-businesses and I know that local food is the most nutritious because it has the shortest distance from farm to table. For resources on where to find fresh local food in Rowan County, check out another blog that I have written! Having an opportunity like attending a cooking class of this caliber also saves a 20-45 minute drive to the next closest class offering. Wivianny sees this space as a place to help families and individuals learn about nutrition and how to cook, something that many have said is a lost art these days. It will be great to see how this space opens and partners with our wellness programs and initiatives for Rowan citizens.


The teaching kitchen is ready for your next date night!


Finally, and most importantly, DeHaas has created a space that blends physical health and mental health with the many health professionals who will have offices there. Heart of Salisbury leases out space to a variety of independent wellness service providers in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, functional medicine, massage therapy, yoga therapy, nutrition, and equine therapy.  This includes wellness providers like Dr. Vince Pastore, who offers clinical psychological services for youth and adults, and Nicole Ferrell, a nurse practitioner who offers functional medicine consultations and visits through collaboration with primary care physicians. Heart of Salisbury looks holistically at health and also will offer nutrition management services through Holly Smith, a licensed dietitian with a master’s degree in Nutritional Sciences.

Wivianny herself offers diagnostic mental health assessments and psychotherapy for youth 12 and up, and adults. Other wellness providers include Stacey Carter, who offers equine therapy and works in collaboration with mental health professionals and teaches horseback riding lessons, and several licensed massage therapists – Erin Davis, India Little, and Nye Hartwick – who each offer additional services as well.

One of the rooms available for mental health assessments and psychotherapy .


How cool is it for Rowan to have a wellness center like Heart of Salisbury downtown? I am excited for the growth of businesses like this and the interconnection to health. What would you like to see pop-up downtown? What sort of wellness services and services for health do you think we could bring?


In good health,

Alyssa Harris