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Essene bread, essential oils and a healthy lifestyle in Melkbosstrand

Melkbosstranders, Jaimi Shields and Dorette Oosthuizen decided it was time that their little town had its own health shop supplying foods and other products for a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Right on the busy beachfront, The Dispensary is becoming the go-to place for everything from kombucha to yoga clothing and essential oils. Jaimi tells us more.

How did your business start?
The Dispensary started as an idea at breakfast when a retail space became available on the Beach Road strip in Melkbosstrand in January this year. We had a meeting with the shop owner and within a week we were gearing up to open our first store together.

Why did you choose Melkbosstrand for your business?
Dorette and I live in Melkbosstrand, we just found the way we eat and live our lives in general could do with the support of a retail outlet that catered to our needs. That made us wonder who else would love to shop locally instead of driving to Blouberg or to Cape Town. And I mean, have you seen Beach Road? A shop with a view – what’s better?

How did you find your premises?
We’re besties with someone we like to call the “unofficial mayor of Melkbosstrand” – nothing happens here without him knowing about it, and he told us about it.

Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
We have a beautiful view, loads of sunshine, good foot traffic and incredible neighbours, so there isn’t much left to wish for.

Who are your neighbours?
I Love Melkies; a cafe specialising in tapas and pizza; and Ritzis on the other side, which focuses on Asian and veggie dishes.

What are the rental/sales prices like in this area?
Our area is very up and coming, so prices aren’t very cheap. There’s also a high demand for office and retail space in Melkbosstrand as the West Coast is growing rapidly.

How many people go through your store each day?
It’s hard to tell at the moment as we’ve only been trading for a few weeks, but word is spreading and there’s lots of passing foot traffic.

Do you have any expansion plans?
Always, we’ll call them intentions and dreams for now. We’d love to cater to the vegan and dairy-free community on the West Coast providing pre-packed meal solutions for those who’d like to eat a certain way without the extra fuss.

Do you operate online as well?
We have a website purely for information, and find that social media is very effective in attracting like-minded clientele.

What’s your most popular item?
Our most popular items are probably our fresh juices and our Essene bread. Then we have a body product, an all-natural organic (where possible) range called Philosophia Botanica body oil; once you rub this on your skin, you can’t help but leave with a bottle or two.
See for yourself:
The Dispensary
081 268 2640

Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Supplied

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