Dear readers, I have a plea. The Herbarium, the retail store operated by PRIME’s alternative medicine columnist Jonathan Evans, needs your help.
I discovered, quite by accident, that Evans and his wife, certified medical herbalist and LPN Kathy Duffy, launched an online GoFundMe campaign to help keep their business open on Aug. 12. A message – an update on the progress of the campaign and the first word I’d heard of the difficulties – showed up in my office junk email on Aug. 19.
The pair have a lofty goal – to raise $10,000 to help cover the cost of continuing to operate their shop at 264 Exchange St. in Chicopee.
Evans explained the move in this way on their GoFundMe site:
“The local economy has not seen the same recovery as in other parts of the country. In a world where people must choose between paying their electric bill, buying food for the week, or a month's worth of vitamins, they are more likely to choose the former. The herbal industry has seen rising costs and shortages in raw materials, climate change has decimated many growers' operations, and deliveries can be at the mercy of storms and tornadoes that span across multiple states. With all these challenges, many people have become frustrated (rightly so, we are too) and are choosing to buy their supplements online, or go without. In the past year, our sales have dropped by more than 50 percent, but our own bills still need to be paid. We have stretched ourselves to the limit, and now we are running the risk of not being able to make the payments and keep products on our shelves.”
Evans has been a columnist for me for nearly 20 years, and the expert I turn to whenever I have a personal question about alternative treatments. You’ve probably heard him on local radio or T.V., perhaps attended one of his or his wife’s seminars, or shopped his store. The couple have made a career of trying to keep the Pioneer Valley healthy. I’m certain it hasn’t been easy to admit their business needs help.
If you appreciate Jonathan’s information, have ever been a customer, or have wanted to visit The Herbarium, now is the time. If shopping online is your style, visit https://www.theherbarium.com .To contribute to their GoFundMe campaign visit https://www.gofundme.com/HERBARIUM. You can also lend your support at The Herbarium’s booth at the Belchertown Fair Sept. 23 to 25.