A Sudbury, Ont., pharmacy has taken a different approach to health and wellness, with a focus on healthy foods and habits.
Rachelle Rocha opened Seasons Pharmacy and Culinaria in 2019 as an alternative to the pharmacies she had worked in throughout her career.
Rocha worked her way up the corporate ladder as a director with a large grocery store chain, and supervised more than 100 pharmacies across Ontario.
But she started to feel like that role held back her relationship with patients. She kept hearing how important it was for people to eat well, but getting there was a challenge.
“I thought with an entire grocery store at your fingertips, that it would be easy to teach people about eating well,” Rocha said.
“But when we eat, it’s a very emotional thing. And pharmacists are very unwilling to go pick apart someone’s shopping cart. It’s a very, very difficult conversation to have, which is why it’s not possible to do it there.”
To have a closer relationship with her clients Rocha opened her own pharmacy that would bring the focus back to healthy food. The pharmacy still offers all the drugs and prescriptions available anywhere else, but food is their foundation.
The pharmacy sells locally grown and produced foods ranging from fruits and vegetables to locally produced honey and cheese.
“We’re trying to curate as close to nature as possible because these are the building blocks for your body’s health,” Rocha said. “You need good quality ingredients grown outside in the sunshine.”
Seasons Pharmacy also sells kitchenware to help people cook at home, and offers different classes through its Facebook page.
“Even though we’re talking about medications and health, it’s less clinical and more holistic,” said Laurie Pennell, a pharmacist and Rocha’s business partner.
“It has a feel to it that I found the other places that I worked didn’t have.”
Anne-Marie Mawhiney, a regular customer at Seasons Pharmacy, said when she first went there she didn’t feel overwhelmed in the same way she might in a big store.
“It’s cutting edge. And yet there’s an old-fashioned vibe too,” she said.
Morning North6:56A pharmacy where food meets medecine