Gulf Gate’s Natural Apothecary Shoppe provides holistic-based expertise in both
By Em Becker
Inner health and external beauty are distinct concepts that can encompass varying priorities. However, the Natural Apothecary Shoppe was born from the idea that health and beauty are intertwined. The business values health and strives to positively influence how people feel about themselves.
Laurie Lombardi, the owner, describes the roots of the business as the “concept of internal and external beauty coming together.”
Lombardi has always had a vested interest in this philosophy. She maintains a successful career that started at NBC Studios in New York City in the 1980s. There, she served as a makeup artist for a vast array of shows, films, and programs. In 2001 and 2002, she won an Emmy Award for her work on Late Night with David Letterman.
From the start of her makeup career, she understood that beauty always starts with what is going on inside the body.
“I took note of which people ate well and who was hydrated in the ’80s”, said Lombardi. Because of this mindset, she developed a great interest in nutrition.
She earned a degree in clinical nutrition and certification for paramedical skincare. In 1999, using her holistic knowledge, she created her own natural cosmetic line called Ladybird Cosmetics. Ladybird was sold in stores throughout New York City including Henri Bendel, the acclaimed department store chain.
In 2010, she compounded organic skincare in the New York City area. There, she met Eric Sauer, a naturopathic consultant and licensed pharmacist. He owned the Natural Pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy in Ocean Township, New Jersey.
Sauer is also highly skilled at homeotropic, an alternative medicine practice that is founded on a like-for-like principle.
Lombardi’s and Sauer’s unique skillsets make the perfect combination to approach beauty with a prioritization on internal health. Lombardi created the Natural Apothecary Shoppe, a business in Gulf Gate which has been open for 18 months. There, Sauer is a part-time holistic pharmacist.
“Customers come in and are surprised that it’s a one-stop shop”, said Lombardi. The business offers information and products relating to hormones, deficiencies, vitamins, and skincare.
At the shop, customers can set up a consultation with Sauer. Recently he has spearheaded immune support consultations that are individualized to customers who are trying to restrengthen their immune system after COVID-19.
Sauer also specializes in the impacts of various drugs on the body. He shares his knowledge of unknown side effects with customers who are experiencing issues, and oftentimes refers customers to doctors to get hormones tested.
Sauer helps to break down the results of these tests and provide tailored recommendations of organic strategies to balance deficiencies. Sauer’s supplement recommendations and homeopathic remedies are popular with customers.
While Sauer tackles the natural pharmaceutical side, Lombardi continues to compound her own organic skincare on site by hand. She is the expert on the array of skincare and cosmetic products the business offers and is always willing to share her expertise with customers.
Some of the Natural Apothecary Shoppe’s bestsellers include Vitamin C, which is a refrigerated product that includes probiotics and has no chemicals.
Another fan favorite is the organic face oil. “It’s nutrition for the skin”, Lombardi said. She specifically chose to utilize plant serum in the oil because it prevents the greasy feeling that other face oils can cause.
The shop carries products with clean ingredients from all over the world; a popular sunblock is shipped in from Africa. Lombardi said she chooses to sell products created by small businesses and strives to support them.
Next month will be an exciting time for the business, as its Fill Me Up Kits will be launching in-store.
“These kits have magnets inside of six pallets,” Lombardi explained.
She designed the kits with magnets to provide customers with the autonomy to choose the type of product and specific shade they want. They can build their own makeup routine in a kit completely customized to their liking. Customers will have the opportunity to mix and match between a variety of Laurie Lombardi-signature concealer, lip, and cheek products.
Hours for the business, located at 6608 Gateway Ave., are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.