Meet the Owner of Apothecary 27
Today we feature a special interview with store owner Joseph Jackson. Here he shares the meaning behind the name 'Apothecary 27', his passion for the health & Wellness industry along with not-to-be-missed health tips.
What's the meaning behind the name Apothecary 27?
I really liked the idea of calling the shop "The Apothecary" because our customers almost treat us like an old-fashioned apothecary. They come to us with a health complaint, and then we use our knowledge to put together a bespoke treatment plan for them, which could be supplements, beauty products, food or a mixture of all three. We don't do so much bottling up of remedies like the old apothecaries would have done (due to licensing etc.), however, the same basic principle is there. The "27" is a personal touch, being my age when I launched the business, and it also happens to be my lucky number!
What inspired you to get into the Health & Wellness Industry?
I actually started working at this very shop (under a different name before I bought it and relaunched as Apothecary 27) when I was 16. I was hired as a Saturday boy and was responsible for bagging up all of the dried goods, such as the nuts and seeds. The owner at the time quickly noticed that I was absolutely terrible at this, so he quickly moved me into the shop to work on the till. I'd be lying if I said I had any knowledge about health and wellness at the time, however, I soon picked things up as I went along, and developed quite an interest as "food as medicine". This led me to study for a degree in Nutritional Therapy at the University of Westminster, where after 4 years of studying I became a Nutritional Therapist.
What has been your biggest challenge with running the store?
I often find that I can be my own worst enemy. When I say this, I mean that I'm such a perfectionist that no task is ever complete for me. Yes, this can be a good thing because it means I'm constantly at work or jotting down ideas on how to improve the store, but as all perfectionist will tell you...it can wear you out! I'm really lucky to have such a great team to rely on when I'm going through one of these manic episodes (as well as a pot of Viridian's Enhanced Rhodiola Complex to help calm those adrenals). They're great at keeping the shop running smoothly while I'm being creative in the background.
What vision do you have for the future of Apothecary 27?
My initial aim when I launched the business was for us to be aspirational, but more importantly achievable. With every day I feel that we're achieving that, especially with the addition of our blog on our website, which is educating our customers about our products and helping them incorporate them into their everyday lives. I would love to expand the business eventually by opening a health-based cafe/coffee shop. We thought long and hard about potentially adding it to the existing premises, however, we feel it's too small of a space, so we're now experimenting with the idea of having it in separate premises under the "Apothecary 27" name. I also have a huge passion for home decor and interior design, and always loved the idea of having my own little boutique, so that is something I would love to incorporate into the business at some point. I have a few collaborations in the works with regards to this, so watch this space!
What's the biggest reason why people don't improve their health?
I think with the health industry it's so easy to feel overwhelmed by the abundance of information that's available. One minute they're telling us to cook everything in coconut oil. and then the next we're told to avoid it at all costs. I think this confusion causes people to rush out and buy all of these "superfoods" and supplements and then they have no clue what to do with them, and they're destined for the back of the cupboard.
One of the most important things I learned when I was studying to be a Nutritional Therapist was that everybody is different, and what may work for one person, won't necessarily work for another. That's why I think it's so important for health stores to have well-trained team members who can help navigate the customer's needs and help them find the right choice for them (whether it be food, supplement or beauty product). That's why we pride ourselves on building a good "working relationship" with our customers. It's not always a case of taking one supplement and then all of your health concerns are magically wiped away (although when this happens it is great!). We're here to support our customers through their journey to optimal health. When changing your health, there are very rarely "quick fixes". I think it's important for us to communicate this with our customers, so they don't set themselves unachievable short-term goals, which can ultimately lead to disappointment, resulting in them giving up on improving their health.
What is your best advice for a healthy lifestyle?
As I just discussed, "health" is not a one size fits all, and will mean different things to different people. I believe in balance and moderation, and this will work really well for the majority of people. My number one tip would be to listen to your body, it will tell you what it likes and what it doesn't. For example, I eat a mostly vegan diet, but every now and again I may have a craving for some good quality dairy (a great source of B12, which isn't largely available in a vegan diet). Alternatively, if you have recurring symptoms such as tiredness or bloating, make a little food diary and see if these symptoms are triggered by eating particular foods.
Are there any breakthroughs or Crazes in the Industry that people must know about?
There are always crazes and breakthroughs happening in the health industry, so it's important for us to stay on trend. Last year was all about coconut oil. This year it's all about turmeric for inflammation (arthritis, aches and pains, skin conditions) and fermented foods. I particularly love the latter trend for promoting gut health at the moment. Items such as kefir, sauerkraut and kombucha are flying off the shelf in store. I think the public is starting to learn that their health starts in the gut (think of the gut as being the foundation of a house, if the foundation isn't strong then you're going to run into complications later on down the line). Good gut health should be a trend that never goes out of style.
Stop by Apothecary 27 to stock up on your health & wellness essentials, for nutritional advice or to just say hi - 71-73 Weyhill, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 1H