On February 23, Adelaide local, Jody Satala, opened the doors to her own Delicia store, in Eastwood — eight months to the day since losing her beautiful 16-year-old daughter, Litia, to cancer. The story behind her doors opening is as heart wrenching as it is powerful.
Image credit :: @deliciaeastwood
Popping up around SA, and soon to be interstate, Delicia stores are the mecca for the health-conscious and even those just wanting a delicious experience. The acai, espresso and protein bars are full to the brim with tasty raw treats, brekky bowls, smoothies, juices and perfect coffee every time.
Step into the newest Delicia on the block — on Glen Osmond Road — and you instantly feel welcomed by the stylish decor and intimate spaces that are perfect for spending a few hours with loved ones, or a take-away caffeine fix and treat.
Image credit :: @deliciaeastwood
But the true inspiration behind it all lies with the owner, 42-year-old Jody and her family. The path to opening the doors to the Eastwood store, just months after losing Tia has been understandably emotional.
Jody lights up, saying, “Tia was so bright and bubbly… always smiling. You could hear her before you could see her… she was just an amazing girl.”
The family is no stranger to grief — after losing the kids’ father 10 years ago, they have banded together in the toughest times. Tia was only 13 when she was shockingly diagnosed with bone cancer. For Jody and her three other children — Laisa, now 15, Elijah, 20, and Isaiah, 22 — the news was devastating but Tia’s attitude gave them strength.
Jody recalls Tia’s reaction to the diagnosis, saying it forced her to draw on her own strength. “She said, ‘Mum, I don’t know why it’s happened to me but it has and I just have to deal with it.’
“Her prognosis wasn’t great and the fact that she made it through treatment was enormous in itself. She never got angry, never said ‘why me?’… she never complained. She taught me so much.”
For 12 months after treatment there was no evidence of the disease, until a routine scan showed a spot on Tia’s knee where the cancer had returned. In June 2017, Tia was told she only had three months to live.
“We never lost touch with the reality — we knew when she relapsed that something was different — but we vowed, as a family, to try and stay positive.”
During this time, Tia was at home, receiving palliative treatment to keep her pain under control. They threw a big party for her sixteenth birthday in August. She made it to Christmas but deteriorated quickly in early 2018.
“Her appetite had changed so much and anything she could tolerate, I’d encourage her to eat — my Uber Eats bill went through the roof.”
Delicia Christie’s Beach was one of Tia’s favourite places to go when she was well enough and Jody cherished visits there with Tia and her younger sister, Laisa.
On a rare outing in Tia’s final weeks, they went to Delicia O’Halloran Hill. Jody vividly recalls Tia looking around and saying, “Mum, you should buy one of these shops.”
Two weeks later, Tia passed away, at home, surrounded by those who loved her.
“I miss her like crazy every day, but I know she’s in a better place. It would have been selfish for me to want her here like that”, Jody says.
Having worked for 22 years in child protection, Jody knew that she needed a new direction. Her dream was to honour Tia and to build something for her three other children.
“Getting the shop has given us something to focus on… something to look forward to”, Jody says.
Delicia creator and owner, Scott Dempster, is thrilled to have the Satalas join the franchise, saying, “The Delicia family is the right place for Jody — I’m humbled to have her in one of my shops. She’s created a gorgeous space and her story is testament to being an incredibly strong, grounded woman.”
And what a beautiful space it is. There are touching tributes to Tia in the store, including a giant flamingo print which is a nod to her favourite animal and a vibrant addition to the shop. The store bowl is also dedicated to Tia, with 50 cents from each bowl being donated to Childhood Cancer Association.
“We’ve combined Tia’s two favourite foods — FruChocs and hazelnut chocolate — in a healthy way. One of her wishes was to support the charities that have helped her. I can’t describe what it’s like to lose a child and we have received such incredible support. It’s important now to pass that on to others.”
The store has created a powerful focus for Jody and her family, with Laisa chipping in as a junior worker on weekends and Isaiah planning to join Jody in store also.
In the first week of opening, the feedback from locals has been overwhelmingly positive. “I’ve been so welcomed and am happy to be contributing to the area. People are so generous and kind — I’m very grateful for the support.”
We wish Jody and her family every bit of success in this new chapter. What a beautiful family and a special way to honour their lovely Tia.
25 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood, SA