A Victorian-style apothecary with steampunk-inspired, post-Industrial flair will soon join the businesses in the Farmers’ Union Marketplace at Fifth Avenue and Olive Street in downtown Eugene.
Mountain Rose Herbs, national purveyor of tea, spices and other herbal offerings, moved to Eugene in 2010, but the company has never before operated a formal storefront.
Shawn Donnille, vice president of Mountain Rose Herbs, says the company wanted to give its customers a “flagship boutique store,” with “extensive wooden shelving” and “hundreds of different apothecary jars on display,” selling Mountain Rose’s enormous selection of herbs and spices, from wild indigo root to nettle leaf.
Mountain Rose will take over Oak Street Vintage’s old spot, which amounts to around 2,100 square feet of floor space. Donnille says the storefront will be Victorian-themed and will provide Mountain Rose customers with the opportunity to buy directly from the store instead of ordering in advance and picking up orders at Mountain Rose’s facility in west Eugene.
“Around the time of Oregon Country Fair, we have people coming from all over the country wanting to see Mountain Rose Herbs, but when they come to our pickup area, it’s not what they were expecting,” Donnille explains. “People would get disheartened to not be able to buy things right there.”
Mountain Rose Herbs prioritizes sustainable business, working to use organic ingredients, install solar panels and reduce waste. It joins a handful of other sustainably minded businesses in the Farmers’ Union Marketplace, including Down to Earth and Green Store.
“That shopping center has a rich agricultural history, and we’re an agriculture-based company, so I couldn’t imagine a better fit,” Donnille says. “I think we’ll complement each other wonderfully.”
The apothecary will be modeled after preeminent apothecaries in Seattle, Portland and San Francisco, Donnille says, with herbal teas, extracts, housewares and tools for home herbalists. Mountain Rose plans to provide space for community herbal classes and seminars, and the storefront may serve as a home base for the Free Herbalism Project, a lecture series hosted by Mountain Rose.
Donnille says the storefront is slated to open in August of this year.