Living Libations plants new headquarters
By Sue Tiffin
Published May 8, 2018
Five years after a fire destroyed Nadine Artemis and Ron Obadia’s home and the location of their thriving botanical health and beauty product business, the couple and Living Libations co-creators are ready to put down roots again.
Though operating temporarily out of a Calico Road home since the disaster, the past few years have been spent building a headquarters from scratch for Living Libations, which had a Queen Street location in 1994 but moved to Haliburton with Obadia and Artemis just more than a decade ago. The new site is located off of Harburn Road and Artemis said it’s the first certified commercial passive solar building in Canada.
“It’s all coming together,” she said. “We’re in the final stages and we hope to be moved in by the end of May.”
The Living Libations building “blends in with the forest,” according to Artemis, who said the European designs focus on sustainable and environmental innovations.
“[The design is] very specific about the windows, where they face,” she said. “The quality of the windows for the heat loss – even if there was no electricity for three months, the building would stay at plus 10, in the middle of minus 40 weather.”
With both the business and the couple’s lifestyle promoting wellness, the design of the headquarters was carefully considered.
“I think the Canadian climate, really heat and heat loss, and really looking at how we’re heating our buildings on a level of health and economics and efficiency, I think that’s one of the biggest things we need to think about with regards to green building design in Canada,” said Artemis.
A local team that included plumbers, electricians and carpentry helped the space take shape, installing innovative flooring and using local wood source for the walls and floors. The headquarters include plenty of windows, all with a great view, lots of natural sunlight, a yoga lounge, a chef’s kitchen promoting organic food for the team of 40 local employees and a beautiful solarium and deck.
“We’re always wanting to create a really awesome place to work in all the ways we can think about,” said Artemis. “This next phase is really about grounding in the physical reality of what it’s like to spend a day at Living Libations and making that the best work environment possible.”
Artemis noted a positive work environment encourages productivity, but added, “also, you want to have fun and you just want to have a really healthy environment to work in with the air quality and natural light and all of those other things.”
Though the fire naturally set them back, finalizing the construction of the new building and transitioning into it marks the final stages of recovering from that fire and Artemis said there was no hesitation to stay, along with the global-reaching business, in Haliburton County.
“This is where we are,” she said. “[It was] a good opportunity to really think of Living Libations’ legacy, and, what’s our 100 year plan so we can create something that is working for our team but also working within the community and just solidifying the long-term plan so it can continue.”
“We continually create new products, so that will continue as usual,” she said. “[The new headquarters are] a change for the positive in every way, just really having great space and an innovative building to work in is the best news ever for our team. [W]e’re really excited about the transition and really appreciate everybody’s support in the community.”
An open house will be announced in the future. For more information about Living Libations, visit livinglibations.com.