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Spotlight: New business brings well-being and passion to Downtown

The heart of this cozy little store is full of care – care in creating quality, safe, luxurious products and care for the people who use them.

It’s hard to tell what Davina Schumann is more passionate about: providing exceptional customer service or the benefits of each product at Maison Apothecare.

As the manager of Maison Apothecare’s newest location, Davina is at home in the petite and cozy addition to Wilson Street in Downtown Guelph. Her background in aromatherapy and holistic health drew her to the growing maker of plant based, small batch, locally sourced bath and body care products.

“In this store, even thought it is small, there are so many different things for so many different people: we have a facial care line, a body care line, a baby line, a men’s line, a cleaning line. There isn’t a single person that can’t find something that they like in here.”

The company’s founder, Natacha Rey, has a Bachelor of Science with a specialization in homeopathy. Also an aromatherapist, her practice of crafting customized blends for loved ones grew into Maison Apothecare.

With stores in Niagara-on- the-Lake, Bloor West Village, and Oakville, Guelph is the fourth retail location for Maison Apothecare. A Guelph shop has allowed the company to respond to customer demand for a more southwest location.

Natacha’s personal connection with the city was also a deciding factor. “Guelph holds a special place in my heart. I attended high school in Guelph, graduating from John F. Ross. During this time, my family and I spent many Saturdays shopping in Guelph’s downtown. In a lot of ways opening our fourth store location here feels like coming home. Guelph offers a unique vibe, one that is culturally strong and very special. I look forward to sharing Maison Apothecare with this community.”

Davina highlights the common ground between the company and the city. “Guelph is just such a receptive place for things that are more natural, that are more holistic, things that are ecofriendly.”

Davina speaks passionately of the quality of Maison Apothecare’s products. The foundation of each product is plant based and botanical. The company sources ingredients locally whenever possible and adheres to an extensive quality control process. Each product is designed to increase the well-being of the person who uses it.

Perhaps the most creative example of their sourcing ethic is found among their handmade soap bars. Niagara-on- the-lake Merlot and Roses soap bar is full of antioxidants that are present in the organic red grape skins sourced from a local Niagara vineyard. Bloor West Village Bergamot and Espresso soap bar uses exfoliating coffee grinds collected from one of the many neighbourhood coffee shops while bergamot is native to the area and grows wild up the street at High Park. Most excitingly, a Guelph inspired handcrafted soap is currently in development.

Each shelf has treasures to discover. Northern Harvest Hand and Body Crème, Lemon Verbena Hand and Body Lotion, and the Healing Oil for face, body, and hair are among Davina’s favourites.

People with allergies and sensitivities to synthetic scents will find Maison Apothecare to be full of possibilities. “Every day we have a least three or four people come in who are allergic to scents.” Davina wants to help them all. “For anyone who thinks, ‘I want to switch over from synthetics and I don’t know how,’ or ‘Why should I make the switch?’ We are here to tell you why and how.”

Davina truly enjoys working with her customers and enjoys sharing her knowledge. “For me, it’s an everyday passion and I just love to help people with it.”

Extra free two hour parking is available in the Wilson Street lot for those who wish to visit Wilson Street businesses more conveniently.