Natural Beauty Meets Optimal Health at Wild Ginger Apothecary
by Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
After an entire decade in the making, Wild Ginger Apothecary, the Suncoast’s answer to “eco-friendly health and beauty,” transitioned from an intangible vision to a brick–and–mortar reality in 2014. Built on the tenets of quality, purity, efficacy and social responsibility, this business has flourished over the past two years––even expanding to include a movement studio and learning lounge which opened in May 2015 and April 2016, respectively.
Located in the Gulf Gate Shopping Village, this storefront and its newly added companion spaces are establishing a niche as Sarasota’s one–stop holistic wellness destination. Offering a meticulously curated selection of beauty and skincare products, household cleaners, sustainable clothing, nutritional supplements, herbal teas and artisan edibles, Wild Ginger verifies that each commodity will benefit both the customer and environment.
In fact, every item displayed on these repurposed shelves is nontoxic, biodegradable, cruelty–free, vegan unless otherwise noted, and USDA–certified organic whenever possible. So, rather than suffering exposure to harsh chemical additives, shoppers can experience the restorative impact of natural ingredients.
This commitment to strict manufacturing requirements and premium quality assurance remains the touchstone of Wild Ginger’s business model. Founder Nicole Leffler expounds, “While working in corporate management at various natural health stores, I was overwhelmed by the number of choices available, but underwhelmed by the ingredients being used.
“I became disenfranchised from the products I was supposed to believe in yet couldn't get on board with. So, Wild Ginger is the solution to that issue––here, I’ve chosen my favorite items from companies that I stand behind. I also feature many local or Florida–made products from small–batch owner operated brands.
“I’m a lifelong natural health enthusiast, but entered this sector professionally in 2006 after leaving the construction industry. I managed a residential remodeling firm yet knew I wanted a more intrinsically rewarding career that directly helped people. Since I always considered myself a beauty and health ‘junkie,’ bridging those interests came easily. I’ve also done business consulting––focused on small entrepreneurs, startups and companies in transition––for almost 15 years, and I’m a Certified Holistic Health Coach as well.”
Leffler’s multi–faceted credentials and entrenched zeal for wellness has most recently culminated in the aforementioned Wild Ginger Studio and Lounge which offers Yoga, Pilates, Nia and Qi Gong, among other classes or workshops. This adjunct to the apothecary is facilitated by an independent network of local health professionals, making these positive lifestyle initiatives accessible throughout the entire Suncoast.
That desire to support the longevity of this regional environment––as well as its residents, of course––has turned her business venture into a passionate, relentless pursuit which extends beyond operating hours. Leffler adds, “I practice healthy living on a regular basis and use all the products I sell. In addition, I mostly eat a plant-based diet, engage in daily yoga, and ‘geek out’ on natural food or beauty finds. But I also believe in balance, so I’ll enjoy occasional cheat meals (or drinks!), and I respect other people’s nutritional choices.
“Overall though, Sarasota has definitely become a health conscious community––more so now than when I previously lived here 10 years ago. Our wellness resources are continuously improving, and I’m happier than ever to be back!”
Wild Ginger Apothecary is located at 6557 Superior Ave., Sarasota. The retail store is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed on Sunday and Monday. The studio and lounge hours will vary. Customers are invited to attend their first class with each instructor for only $5. For more information on the available products, classes, workshops or special events, call 941-312-5630, email Info@WildGingerApothecary.com or visit WildGingerApothecary.com.
Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer is the Managing Editor of Natural Awakenings Sarasota–Manatee. She also works as a freelance writer, blogger and social media marketer based in Southwest Florida. Her personal blog HealthBeAHippie.Wordpress.com features practical tips for embracing a fit, nutritious and empowered lifestyle.