Caroline Pineau has officially passed the torch at her Washington Street studio The Yoga Tree to fellow Hillie Ally Vallieres ahead of the location’s nine-year anniversary to focus full-time on her downtown marijuana shop Stem, she tells WHAV.
Calling June’s change in ownership “bittersweet,” Pineau said Haverhill Bank marketing specialist Vallieres was the only person she considered to become sole owner of the place she purchased at age 23.
“She’s an amazingly strong female entrepreneur and she shares a very similar vision for The Yoga Tree and the future of the studio. I knew immediately that she was the right fit for the next phase of Yoga Tree,” Pineau said.
A former spin instructor who completed Boston Yoga School-affiliated teacher training with Pineau’s guidance, Vallieres plans to make her official debut as studio owner during The Yoga Tree’s ninth anniversary celebration this weekend. Several free classes for all levels are planned Friday, Aug. 2-Sunday, Aug. 4, along with special sales and other events. Pineau and Vallieres plan to co-teach a vinyasa flow class on Friday night featuring live music from Erica Cahill and spots are still available.
Pineau tells WHAV she has the utmost confidence in Vallieres as she steps aside from the business she first opened on River Street.
“This has been such a huge part of my life professionally and personally,” Pineau told WHAV. “Opening the business at 23, I got engaged, married, had a baby and now this community has stood behind me as I pursue my next business venture and passion project in Haverhill. It’s been such a wonderful blessing and it was a hard decision, but I know it was the right decision.”
After all, jokes the small business owner, she isn’t moving too far down Washington Street as she opens Stem at 124 Washington St. later this year. “Haverhill can’t get rid of me on the riverfront downtown,” she said with a laugh.
Staying rooted in Haverhill is something equally important to Vallieres, who lives in the downtown district herself. She believes Pineau chose her as owner due to their shared passion for not only fostering a sense of community among yogis but one within Haverhill.
“It was important to her to find someone that would focus on building this beautiful yoga community but also focus on giving back to the Greater Haverhill community,” Vallieres said. “I live downtown, work downtown and I care deeply about seeing Haverhill and the downtown area in particular do well.”
Vowing to keep pricing and class schedules the same for at least the next year, Vallieres tells WHAV she hopes to introduce additional classes and workshops when the time is right. On her wish list: Kundalini, yoga nidra and power yoga, in addition to meditation.
The Yoga Tree is located at 90 Washington St., Haverhill.