Local Folks: Dori & Christian Thomsen

Local Folks: Dori & Christian Thomsen

Meet the Thomsens: Dori, a Floridian from Pensacola Beach, and Christian, a New Orleans native. They are the Riverside couple who founded Saluna Yoga + Spa in 5 Points in 2014 and who recently celebrated their tenth wedding anniversary.

They met in 2004 in Jacksonville at the University of North Florida while Dori was completing a bachelor’s degree in public relations and Christian a master’s in international business. They married and traveled for a while before spending five years in Costa Rica where their daughter, Olive, was born.

With a newborn in tow, the Thomsens wanted to return to something familiar, to a place that felt like home. Jacksonville was it. “We had connections with people, and we loved the Riverside-Avondale historic neighborhood, so it seemed like a great fit to settle in,” Christian said.

To complete their family, the Thomsens rescued a terrier mix, Boomer, from the Nassau Humane Society. Now, much of their day is filled with dog walk and play. And that’s a great thing because the family has a passion for the outdoors.

They’ve planted a raised-bed garden at their Riverside home, though they do like to get their hands into the earth as much as they can. Their crops rotate with the seasons and include vegetables as well as herbs—broccoli, lettuce, cilantro, basil, sage, and such. What they don’t grow themselves, they buy from Grassroots Natural Market in 5 Points.

“We try to eat healthy and wholesome,” Christian said. “Everything in moderation,” Dori added. And then Riverside Liquors was mentioned as one of their favorite places to buy wine.

They like Wildcrafters, the booze-free bar, too. “It’s got such a great vibe,” Dori said. Wherever there’s outside dining is where you are likely to see the Thomsens, like at the Blue Fish and the Brick in The Shoppes of Avondale area.

When they’re not walking to local restaurants or picnicking along the river at Memorial Park, Dori and Christian are biking. For longer excursions, they bought a tandem bike so it’s easier for nine-year-old Olive to join them. Soon, they’d like to add a sidecar or a basket for Boomer. As a family, they bike to Jaguars games and park at ZenCog.

Being small-business owners themselves, Dori and Chritian are fervent supporters of Jacksonville’s local establishments on both sides of the river, and they believe in the power of shout-outs.

Sometimes, “We just like hangin’ around the house, grillin’ out, and just kinda bein’ homebodies enjoyin’ life,” Christian said. Their favorite butcher for goods to grill is Cline’s in San Marco; they order every week.

Another favorite San Marco spot for the couple is the Row House for exercising.  “It’s our release. That’s our jam. We love it. We don’t just do yoga,” said Dori, the 500-hour experienced yoga teacher.

The Thomsens also like camping with other families. Hanna Park is at the top of their hotspot list.

Every June, Dori heads a yoga retreat in Cost Rica where they used to live. Afterwards, Christian and Olive meet her there for a family getaway. Then, it’s back home to Jacksonville, to where they work and play, where they live and love, back to all the familiar places they enjoy and support.

“Buchner’s Bierhalle has the best charcuterie board in town,” said Dori about Murray Hill. She could not resist the urge for one last shout-out.

By Mary Wanser
Resident Community News

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