By: Jill Fox
After two years of working for the local salt therapy spa in Parkland, and experiencing the benefits of it firsthand, a Coral Springs resident and her family have bought The Salt Box.
On Saturday, January 25, they intend to celebrate with the community with a free event open to the public– including vegan food trucks, live music, free salt therapy, yoga, meditation, arts & crafts, and several local vendors.
The new owner, Saraana Jamraj, 27, started working for previous owners, Jessi and Brian Powell, in 2017. Jessi, a speech therapist, and Brian, a firefighter, opened the space while raising a toddler and pregnant, after seeing the natural benefits it brought to their daughter’s respiratory health.
Despite having never previously owned a business, they successfully opened the second salt therapy facility in South Florida, and have helped thousands of people in the community improve their health and lives over the past five years.
When the Powells decided to sell, in order to spend more time with their children and each other without being so thinly spread, it was a difficult decision, but deciding who to sell it to, they said, was not.
“It was a no-brainer— since Saraana started working at The Salt Box over two years ago, she has always treated our business and our clients as if she was the owner,” said Jessi.
She said Saraana was incredibly caring and had the time and energy to continue their legacy, and bring new ideas to the business they started.
In addition to working full time at The Salt Box, Saraana is completing her Master’s degree at Florida International University and writes for local news sites, including Coral Springs Talk, Parkland Talk, and Tamarac Talk.
She immigrated to America from Trinidad two decades ago, with her parents Sharon and Drona Jamraj, who were instrumental in her purchase of the business.
“I couldn’t do any of this without them—they’ve dedicated their lives to creating opportunities for me, and taught me so many lessons in the process,” said Saraana.
When she applied for the job in 2017, Saraana was still suffering from a yearlong mystery illness, and after taking a break from work, she was ready to move on. She said she wanted to go somewhere that encouraged healing.
“It was magical. I thought the job sounded perfect for me, and I came, not knowing what to expect, but it turned out better than I could’ve imagined,” said Saraana.
She didn’t know much about salt therapy at the time but was amazed at how it appeared to helped her and all of the clients.
Holistic salt therapy works when clients spend time in the salt rooms, where the machines disperse salt that clings on to allergens and toxins in the body, drawing them out more quickly, through an anti-inflammatory mechanism.
While salt therapy rooms are relatively new in American culture and research, the practice in Europe dates back to the 1800s, when a Polish doctor, Dr. Feliks Boczkowski, found the first salt cave in Poland, upon realizing that salt miners were in particularly good health, and studying the benefits of salt inhalation.
According to The Salt Therapy Association, it can be used to improve respiratory health and breathing, to enhance the skin, and to boost the immune system for general health and wellness and typically works best when done regularly.
The Salt Box has three rooms in which people can experience the benefits—a kids room filled with Himalayan pink salt, toys, and books, an adult meditation room equipped with heated neck pillows, recliners, blankets, relaxing music, and dimmed lighting, and an individual salt bed that provides privacy and more concentrated salt.
“So many people come in and say they’re feeling better than they have in years, and knowing that we helped is such a great feeling,” said Saraana.
Sometimes, she said, clients come for chronic conditions while other times they have no chronic health issues, but after their sessions, they say it was the most relaxing part of their entire week.
Saraana will continue to work full time and run the business with her life partner, Gino Martinez, 26, who also makes crocheted goods, teaches astrology, and offers tarot readings.
“We hope to keep the essence of everything that made people fall in love with The Salt Box in the first place while bringing new events and new ways to make the space even more community-oriented,” said Martinez.
To celebrate new beginnings, honor the previous owners, and reintroduce themselves to the community, they will be hosting The Salt Box Community Day, on January 25 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. with complimentary salt sessions all day. Guests can also enjoy live music, yoga, meditation, art, food trucks, and vendors.
To book a complimentary salt therapy session, guests can call (954) 906-5985. They can also be found on Facebook and Instagram. The Salt Box is located in the Parkland Town Center, at 6710 Parkside Drive.
“We’re blessed to be surrounded by so much love. We want to share that with the community,” said Saraana.
This article has been edited.