High Springs has another new and unique business. The Little Cottage is a full-service med spa/day spa located in an old Victorian house on Main Street. While it offers the traditional beauty treatments with a hair salon, skin care and eyelash extensions, it also offers spa treatments, massages, teeth whitening and Botox treatments—complete with a doctor and nurse practitioner/anesthesiologist on site.
But the location is more than just a spa: It is also a wedding and event location with additional buildings for the wedding party, overnight stays and a large garden for ceremonies.
For the past 18 years the Victorian style house was well known in High Springs as the Secret Garden Bakery in the Wisteria Cottage, owned and operated by Sharon and Mike Tugman. Last year, they decided it was time to retire and sell the building.
“We loved our customers and the close relationship we had with the community, but the 10-hour days all those years were taking its toll,” Sharon said. “We decided it was time to let it go.”
At the same time, Sandra Bunch was looking to bring a full-service spa to High Springs. She had opened a spa in Gainesville three years prior, but always wanted to bring the same service to High Springs.
“I wanted to bring something truly unique to the area offering high-end services with a small-town feel,” Bunch said.
She said she has frequented High Springs and noticed it did not have a full-service spa, but that’s not all she noticed.
“I also saw a need for an event venue here in town for weddings and other events that offered a private place for the bride and groom as well as a beautiful garden area for the ceremonies,” Bunch said. “I knew what kind of place I wanted, and this place was perfect.”
Bunch designed and oversaw all the renovations on both her locations. She called the Gainesville house a “nightmare” renovation that cost her $200,000.
“High Springs was different,” Bunch said. “The Tugmans had taken good care of the house, so I was able to concentrate on remodeling rather than repair.”
Bunch knew the place meant a lot to Sharon Tugman and it was hard for her to part with it, so she had one room painted with wisteria bushes as a tribute to the Tugmans.
Bunch has been working in the beauty industry since she was 15 years old.
“I went to massage school, became a licensed masseuse and expanded from there,” she said. “Three years ago I decided it was time to create my own business and opened the spa in Gainesville.”
Bunch said the space already had multiple event bookings prior to opening on Feb. 27.
“Weddings, birthday parties and even bookings for commercials and photo shoots—we look forward to bringing all our services to the High Springs community,” Bunch said.
If you go:
- The Little Cottage address: 18741 High Springs Main Street
- Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
- Appointments: (352) 322-2712
- Parking: free