Wild Ginger Apothecary
Nicole Leffler is equally comfortable bicycling around Costa Rica as she is summering with family in Croatia but when she’s behind the counter at her health and wellness store, Wild Ginger Apothecary, she truly appears to be in her element. Nicole becomes animated as she extolls the benefits of the many natural and unique products that line the rough-hewn wood shelves. The store is divided into sections: Health, Home, Hair, Body, Beauty, Scent, and Skin. There’s even a Learn section and a Drink section. Chalkboards with quotes from the likes of Jack Kerouac and Yves Saint Laurent reflect some of Nicole’s philosophies regarding embracing life and using nature as a balm for the spirit as well as the body. Nicole believes that products should be sampled and tested before purchase and she always has fun goodies behind the counter such as morsels of spiced stone-ground chocolate or a top-selling natural deodorant or tiny vials of serum from the skincare line that she swears by. Nicole prides herself on weaning people off of chemically enhanced and animal-tested products by introducing them to natural alternatives that are just as, if not more, effective than their toxic counterparts. Nicole has a degree in business management and is also a certified holistic health coach and has taken many hours of continuing education classes in natural cosmetics and skincare. Nicole is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and she grew up visiting her grandmother in Sarasota. After spending time studying yoga in Costa Rica and visiting family in Germany and Croatia she has chosen to settle in Sarasota, giving in to what she calls that overused but nonetheless true hash tag: “I live where you vacation.” She’s made a home in Gulf Gate, setting up shop and setting about creating a neighborhood collaboration of local businesses. Nicole introduced Gulf Gate to “First Friday,” a business open house held the first Friday of every month from 6 to 9pm, and the event has been a great way to introduce people to the store and to other businesses in the area. Wild Ginger Apothecary has been known to serve delicious and nutritious Kombucha Cocktails at these fun events. Nicole recently expanded her concept by building a yoga studio and wellness center called Wild Ginger Lifestyle two doors from her store where classes ranging from Pilates to Qigong are available to the public. Nicole plans to offer a rotating display of local art in the studio as yet another way to emphasize her support of shopping small and local. On Saturday mornings at 9 a group of people gather in the store for the weekly “Get Waisted” meetings, where they learn about healthy weight loss and natural detoxification. Nicole’s passion is evident and the Wild Ginger Apothecary Lifestyle is staging a healthy revolution headquartered in Gulf Gate Shopping Village.
► Wild Ginger Apothecary: 6557 Superior Ave, Sarasota; 941-312-5630; wildgingerapothecary.lightspeedwebstore.com