When people are ill, they usually either make a doctor's appointment or lie in bed and wait it out. Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has created a third option. Visits to its stores, which are scattered across the western US, are more casual than a doctor's visit but less passive than bed rest. Each location's team of health experts, including credentialed pharmacists, naturopathic doctors, herbalists, nutritionists, and more, consult with customers?no appointment needed.
But Pharmaca aims to serve its customers every day, not just on sick days. Its stores have been drawing droves of clients since 2000, partly because they meet so many needs in just one spot. In addition to a full-service pharmacy, Pharmaca offers organic and food-based vitamins from MegaFood and New Chapter; professional-grade skin care and cosmetics from Jane Iredale, Sanitas, and Dr. Hauschka; and therapeutic-grade supplements from Metagenics and Thorne Research. Customers can also choose from an assortment of homeopathic remedies, herbal formulations, medical supplies, toiletries, gifts, and fair-trade chocolates.
The produce curators at Planet Organics look to the green thumbs of small local farms to shuttle organic fruits and veggies from fields onto area tables in less than 48 hours. An armful of earth's bounty appears eagerly at doorsteps or tree-house ladders, and patrons choose from a case of all fruits, all vegetables, or a half-and-half mix of fruits and vegetables. The organic outfitter ensures freshness by maintaining strict delivery logistics and only recruiting fruits grown for flavor and hereditary dimples rather than longevity. Patrons can keep jonagold apples on necklaces at all times of day to ward off visits from hungry doctors, or add Watsonville strawberries to cool spring salads to delight dinner guests.
Along one side of Il Fiorello's olive groves, a creek creates just the right kind of soil drainage for the hearty trees that flourish in sunny, dry conditions. Totaling more than 2,000 in number, the trees help produce the award-winning olive oils that are crafted on-site. Visitors to Il Fiorello?which means "little flower" in Italian and nothing in Japanese?can tour the olive mill, which works through an impressive three tons of olives per hour. From there, guests can head to the tasting room to try samples of the finished product, as well as balsamic vinegar reductions.
Nostalgia tastes sweet at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, a shop specializing in old-fashioned treats that many regulars fondly recall from the past. Confectioners slice creamy fudge on a marble slab and dunk crisp apples into caramel that bubbles in a traditional copper kettle. Strawberries are dipped in chocolate and then drizzled, and tubs of caramel-coated popcorn and nuts are packaged together in bags. There is much to drool over at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, including non-chocolate items like licorice and even dog treats dipped in a creamy white confection for man's best friend or a weird cousin. The chocolate factory also offers an app with special coupons, rewards card, and in-store deals.
On the shores of Tomales Bay, The Marshall Store's seafood slingers serve up a rotating selection of fresh, locally harvested oysters and a variety of other gastronome goodies. Picked from a farm up the bay, a half-dozen oysters can please palates with an array of preparations, such as raw half-shells adorned with lemon and mignonette ($10) or decorated with Worcestershire, parsley butter, and house-smoked bacon ($13). Construct hunger-destroying sandwich vessels from a deli armed with a plethora of meats, cheeses, and breads, or select prefabricated comestibles such as a Reuben decorated with swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and 1,000 tiny edible islands emulsified into a dressing ($7.25). Seafoodies can chow on cups of clam chowder ($5–$7), a fresh crab cocktail ($12), or halibut tacos ($11) while enjoying the view of the bay or trying to kiss their reflections in the water.
Canvas Ranch distributes sustainably farmed veggies plucked from fields that span 28 acres in the Two Rock Valley. Enliven a bland plate with weekly installments of farm-fresh fun from the family farm’s selection of summer crops. Summer harvest typically includes dry-farmed heirloom tomatoes, sweet peppers, stowaway morning dew, and summer squash.