Essence manager DeNay Taliaferro said Essence prides itself on stylish decor. Submitted photo.

Essence Hair, Nail and Body Spa is part hair salon, part massage parlor, part beauty product shop, part manicure shop, and all about relaxation.

“Essence means ‘spirit of,’” said Essence manager DeNay Taliaferro. “It’s always been the spirit of excellence and of doing everything in a positive way.”

For seven years, the spa, tucked into a row of shops along busy Pennington Road, has quietly expanded its range of services. Now, its 11 employees do everything spa-related short of a steam bath.

“We can wax your entire body, wrap you in mud and send you on your way,” Taliaferro said. “All of our technicians are highly skilled and certified.”

The only thing a visit to Essence doesn’t include is a wait. Staff members move customers through a virtual assembly line of pampering that includes massage tables, foot-baths, hairstylists, manicurists, and even food. Hair and nail operations are on the ground floor, along with a boutique that stocks the L’Oreal Avancée line of products, which Taliaferro said are available only at spas.

On the second floor, the lights are dim and the air filled with downtempo new-age

music. That’s where the massages and body treatments happen.

Essence caters mostly to women, but there is a barber on staff for the men. Taliaferro, who has managed the spa for five years, said word of mouth has helped the clientele grow, with customers coming from as far away as New York.

“If one person has a phenomenal experience and tells some one about it, they will seek us out first as opposed to somebody else,” she said.

In the future, Taliaferro said Essence might expand its location and range of services or offer more products such as handbags and jewelry.

“We’re keeping ourselves evolving,” she said.

The spa is co-owned by Troy and Tommi Vincent. Troy Vincent, an NFL football player who has played for the Philadelphia Eagles, among other teams, also co-founded and owns Eltekon, a business services company, and is behind the Taste of Trenton festival and the Love Thy Neighbor Community Development Corporation.

Essence Hair, Nail and Body Spa, located at 1678 Pennington Road, is open Monday through Saturday with late hours Thursday and Friday. Seniors get a 20 percent discount Tuesdays. For more information call (609) 538-8105.

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Diccon Hyatt is business editor of U.S. 1. He has worked for Community News since 2006 and was previously community editor of the Ewing Observer, the Hopewell Express, the Lawrence Gazette, and the Trenton Downtowner. From 2003 to 2006, he was a general assignment reporter for the Middletown Transcript in Middletown, Delaware. In 2002, he graduated from the University of Delaware, where he was features editor of the student newspaper, The Review. He has won numerous awards from the Maryland-Delaware D.C. Press Association and the Association of Free Community Newspapers for features, news, and opinion writing. He is married and lives in Marlton, NJ.