Aphrodite Escape Spa - Brandy Gould on Making a Destination

Aphrodite Escape Spa - Brandy Gould on Making a Destination

Brandy Gould has worn many hats over the past 20 years but as of May, this year, she is the proud owner and manager of Aphrodite Escape Spa in Kemptville, On.

“She’s a pretty unique individual, she’s incredibly creative yet her administrative and managerial skills are off the charts as well,” says Rob Thompson, CEO of the Rob Thompson Group of Companies, Gould’s former boss and current landlord.

When Thomson announced he was semi-retiring, Gould knew it was time to move on.

“I needed to figure out what I wanted to do next and realized I wanted to build and foster a local business,” says Gould, an interior designer by trade.

The Aphrodite Escape Spa, attached to Kemptville Suites, one of Thompson’s boutique hotels was an existing business and when it became available Gould saw the potential to collaborate with the hotel to offer guests spa packages and pampered weekend getaways.

“My goal is to create a destination.  You come and stay in Kemptville, you do your spa weekend, you go to Merrickville for dinner, and shopping, you come back. I think we’re really in the hub of a great destination spot that hasn’t been fully exploited,” says Gould.

Meanwhile her clients are vocally thrilled with the services provided.

“I go back to Aphrodite Escape Spa because the service is excellent from the moment you walk in the door.  They come out and greet you and personally escort you. They’re incredibly attentive and friendly, they know when to talk and when not to talk. I’ve recommended the place to a lot of people,” says Kim De Schiffart, an Ottawa resident and repeat client..

The salon space is one that Gould has reason to remember fondly.

“I started with Michael Rowland (proprietor of Rowland Leather) working on the interior design when he owned the building before Rob Thompson took it over. I was, back then, a baby interior designer so this has been very much like coming home. This is the building I started in,” says Gould.

The spa is a full-service beauty salon, offering everything from hair and skin treatments to massages and manicures and pedicures.  Gould has no background in self-care and admits taking on the business was a “huge pivot” for her.

“I run the business I don’t provide the services. I have a wonderful team with five full-time, four part-time and one co-op student,” says Gould.

Gould’s approachable manner, natural empathy and organizational competence quickly earn her the respect of her employees.  

“Just the way Brandy answered the phone the first time when I applied – I just knew I wanted to work here,” says Leah Thibeault, 17 year old South Carleton High co-op student.

Gould has only run the business for six months but her eye on the bigger picture is already paying off.

“The increase in her sales since she took over the business don’t make sense in the current market.  She’s grown the business in six months to the point where she needs to expand,” concludes Thompson.

Explore Aphrotdite Escape Spa & Salon 


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Municipal Office
285 County Road #44,
PO Box 130
Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0

Monday through Friday
8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Economic Development
613-258-9569 ext.153

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