By Kristie Snyder, GreenStar Marketing Staff

Bespoke Apothecary’s story started ten years ago with words no one ever wants to hear: “You’ve got cancer.” Determined to beat her disease with a holistic approach, April Hart and her husband, Bill Krovetcz, began a journey of education and experimentation. Their discoveries put her breast cancer into remission and gave birth to a business, offering to our community the natural, health-supporting products that sustained April during her recovery.

In the quest to eliminate toxins from every corner of her life — diet, cleaning and other household products, skin care — April discovered that many brands she was relying upon contained carcinogens. She began developing her own natural recipes, which she first shared with friends then took to local farmers markets. Slowly and steadily, she built up a devoted customer following.

At the time of her diagnosis, April and Bill had already begun to grow food on their 65 acres of forest near Elmira. Since then, their permaculture gardens have been expanded to supply the growing business. They grow or forage many ingredients (medicinal herbs, garlic, ginger, rosehips, turmeric) and keep bees to produce the honey and beeswax found in various products. Ingredients they can’t grow themselves are sourced from organic and local suppliers, such as the Good Life Farm — and GreenStar! The care they take doesn’t end with ingredients, either — all of Bespoke’s products are packaged in glass — which is reusable, recyclable, and won’t leach contaminants.

At GreenStar, Bespoke offers Fire Cider (a powerhouse herbal tonic, with nearly 30 ingredients!), cinnamon and whitening toothpastes (both made with local knotweed tincture), and skin-care formulations for every need: Herbal Medicated Skin Cream (for eczema and psoriasis); GOODE cream (“formulated for your hands, but your whole body deserves it!”); Perfect Skin Cream (a face cream inspired by famed herbalist Rosemary Gladstar); Queen of Hungary’s Water (an astringent herbal toner); Honey Face Wash (great for teenagers struggling with acne); and Coffee Wrinkle and Eye Cream (self-explanatory, with organic, Fair Trade coffee).

For April, clean and healing products are only part of her mission, which includes education in alternative health care. “We love helping others — we’ll freely give out any knowledge that we have,” she said. Selling at GreenStar has brought things full circle. “The whole reason that I stepped foot in GreenStar ten years ago is because I was diagnosed with breast cancer and searching out holistic methods and products,” she said. “It was a big part of my healing.”