While I don’t shop often, I understand the pleasures of browsing products, and relishing in the world of material goods. Human ingenuity is expressed through the multitude of variation we create in the simplest of things—how many different styles, colors, and sizes of shoes can you find at a shoe store? The reason I often don’t shop is that within all that variation, the attention to material and quality is often out-weighed by style and marketing.
This past weekend I went shopping at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy to see what this unusual business was all about, and to purchase some gifts. When I entered the store, a friendly staff person greeted me and I surveyed the scene. My expectations of an austere space with high-end products met a typical bustling pharmacy, with shelves full of choices. Immediately, I realized I could come here to buy Benadryl as easily as I could come to buy herbal tea, hand cream with organic ingredients, or get my prescription filled. In fact, the choices almost overwhelmed me, but choice is what Pharmaca’s all about.
Founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2000, this pharmacy’s mission was to give customers choices about health care. In addition to a full service pharmacy counter, Pharmaca offers holistic remedies so customers can choose how they want to approach their health care. Their staff of certified practitioners helps guide customers through the broad selection of over-the-counter medications, alternative remedies, and natural cosmetics and body care products.
As a culinary person, my nose often guides me. I knew I needed several gifts, but was unclear what they would be, so I sniffed my way through several sections of the store, starting with soaps and shampoos and ending at a large display of essential oils and candles. In my perusing I discovered my shampoo for two dollars less than usual, a wider selection of natural cosmetics than I’ve ever encountered, a generous selection of personal care products for men, and a great assortment of chocolate bars.
Often, when I enter a pharmacy, I feel as though I’ve stepped into a confusing maze of chemicals and products I that will seem like bad choices when I get home. I read labels full of ingredients I don’t know, but I suspect might hurt as much in the long run as they help in the short term. Pharmaca provides a different experience—many of their products have easy to interpret ingredients. While I let my sense of smell lead me, I did not leave with the chemical headache that accompanies a similar olfactory escapade in a more conventional drug store.
And while they carry a great selection of recognizable natural health and beauty brands like, Dr. Haushca, Max Green Alchemy, Herbal Elements, Jurlique, John Masters Organics, Yes to Carrots, and Jason (to name very few), they also have plenty of products from their own product line which use high quality, easy to identify ingredients. With so much to choose from, Pharmaca offers no shortage of products with quality ingredients and crafted with care.
Visit one of Pharamaca’s two locations in New Mexico: