The Anna’s Apothecary Sisters
Anna’s Apothecary went into business in 2012, but it was in conceived many years earlier in the quiet calm of the Colorado Mountains. Sisters Sara and Anna, along with 2 younger siblings spent their formative years just 45 minutes West of Manitou Springs, in the tiny mountain town of Florissant. Landing in Colorado by way of Kansas in the 1978, Sara and Anna were but wee children with one foot in the vast and unpopulated beauty of Colorado and another foot in the spirit world, where the fabric of their destiny was being woven to create Anna’s Apothecary.
After spending the earlier years along the Front Range, their father had dreams of moving to the mountains which he and their mother made manifest. In 1982, the sisters, along with their family moved to Florissant, Colorado into the Crystal Peak Ranch. The Ranch is near the base of Crystal Peak, where famously, many beautiful gems and quartz crystals have been extracted and are now on exhibit at the Natural History Museum Of Denver. The ranch house was anything but idyllic, but it resided on 400 acres of prairie dog town and deep woodlands that were certainly charged by the treasures near and under foot. During the summers, the siblings would run freely in the woods. Eating wild raspberries, splashing in a small creek that flowed through the property and constructing villages from fallen limbs and branches. It was here that the nature spirits fully unified with the children and planted the seeds for what was to come.
As teenagers, they relocated from the Ranch into a Chateau Style home right in the Florissant town limits. As the magic of childhood faded away, the sisters were still steeped in the natural beauty of their homeland. Surrounded by fields full of wildflowers, crisp, cool and clean spring water to drink and bathe in, the world still offered many opportunities to connect with the beauty around them.
Sara, 22 months older than Anna, spent much of her time writing poetry and short stories, experimenting with various mediums of art, hiking the local terrain and collecting plants and flowers to dry, as well as helping with younger siblings and keeping house. She also discovered the magic of gardening during these years and it was one of the first sparks of success that shaped the years to come. For 2 summers, she spent her days building trails at the Florissant Fossil Beds. Although it felt like torture at the the time, it shaped her in ways that were yet to be seen, offering the time in nature to continue to connect with that energy. At 21 Sara gave birth to a baby girl and the path to her fate would soon be formed. Raising her daughter as a single parent, from birth, but often with the help of her sister Anna, Sara sought a path where she could raise her child on her own terms and create a meaningful living for herself.
Choosing to follow her heart, she was compelled to work at a local garden center in Colorado Springs. She remained there for 10 years from 1998, while starting her own gardening company “I Dig the Garden” in 1999. Sara owned and operated I Dig the Garden for 17 years before shifting into and starting Anna’s Apothecary. Sara also started and ran a small CSA from a market garden she had in 2007 called the “Poteger Garden” and managed a CSA the following year for the historic Venetucci Farm. It was also in 2007 that Sara acquired her first Permaculture Design Certificate through Pikes Peak Permaculture, followed by a Permaculture Teachers Certificate in 2012 and an Advanced Permaculture Design Certificate in 2013. Sara has also spent the past 10 years studying and continues to study energy bodies and energy healing with a teacher in San Luis, Colorado. She is also constantly studying and researching various wellness modalities. Sara also lives on and is the project manager for a 200 acre off grid housing project East of Colorado Springs called “Earthship Village Colorado”, along with her husband Chris and their 2 young children.
As a young woman, Anna had often felt an inclination to helping and healing. At 20 years old, Anna attained her CNA certification where she worked with senior citizens in home health care. It was during this time, that Anna picked up her first book on herbal medicine. Intrigued, it opened her perception to what the plants could do. While not immediately pursuing plant medicine, the seed had been planted and not lost. For most of her 20’s Anna worked as a floral designer and created beauty through that lens. Needing to expand her horizons, in her early 30’s Anna moved to Denver to pursue a degree in Cultural Anthropology, with the intent of practicing humanitarian aid. During her time at Denver Metro, through anthropology, Anna was reminded of herbalism and fell in love. Enrolling for a beginning herbal medicine making course, Anna was immediately engrossed and quickly started making her own herbal preperations for friends and family, building her kitchen apothecary. She continued to fill her class schedule with various holistic healing classes and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in holistic health and sociology.
Within a year of Anna’s graduation, the apothecary was born. While Anna worked in the gardens on and off throughout I Dig the Gardens 17 year run, it was in a garden where “Anna’s Apothecary” was born. With Sara’s passion for plants, and Anna’s passion for herbal medicine, the stage had been set to birth Anna’s Apothecary.
In 2014, Sara and Anna were invited to be a part of a local grocer in Manitou Springs. They quickly accepted the invitation and joined other community members to spearhead Local First Grocer. Sadly, Local First didn’t make it, but they were a critical incubator for Anna’s Apothecary. 8 months after joining the grocer, they took over the lease at 116 Canon Avenue and continue to grow and expand annually.