Clintonville herb shop Boline Apothecary is headed to new digs at 15 W Dunedin Rd. right behind Global Gallery in the heart of the neighborhood. For a store that opened in April of last year, an early move is a bit of an unexpected twist, but Proprietor Lily Shahar Kunning is turning it into an opportunity for growth.
Kunning, a trained herbalist, moved to Columbus from California about three years ago.
“When I moved here I was actually surprised there wasn’t a store like mine,” she says.
Things started small. Kunning pieced together what she needed for her herbal remedies and body care products from local vendors and online outlets. Big batches for friends and family left excess product – product she would find an outlet for at farmers markets. The first was 400 W. Rich.
“I joined the farmers market with a really sparse table of maybe six products,” Kunning says. Interacting with the community helped her decide what other products to add to the lineup, growing the operation to a full line of herbal products and several market appearances.
Kunning wasn’t really considering a brick-and-mortar location until one of her retail outlets mentioned an empty space that was available next to them in Clintonville. With it came the light bulb that she didn’t just have to sell her products, but could also offer other locally made, natural goods and dried bulk herbs.
With the help of a small business loan from ECDI, Kunning opened Boline Apothecary on April 1, 2014.
“We’ve been expanding slowly ever since,” she says.
Customers will find a variety of high-quality, natural products at Boline.
“I’m an herbalist so I create herbal remedies and herbal body care,” Kunning says, including tinctures, elixirs and various daily-use products. She also carries various lines of local and national products.
“I vet everything very thoroughly before I carry it in the shop,” she adds. Boline has a list of ingredients and ingredient processes that aren’t even allowed in the store. It ensures that only natural products make it onto the shelves instead of just those that appear eco-friendly.
Boline also offers an extensive, ever-expanding line of dried bulk herbs as well as custom-made products as requested by clients. But, a new space means new offerings. With the new storefront, Kunning will start a daily tonic club.
“Toncis are something that I really want to introduce to Columbus,” she says. “Tonics are a way to keep well and healthy and balanced so illness doesn’t happen as often or as harshly.” (CLICK HERE to head over to Columbus Underground to learn more about the new tonic club.) Daily also means the store will now be open seven days a week instead of Tuesday through Sunday.
While never a fun thing, the move is somewhat of a blessing in disguise for the shop. Boline had been hampered with issues like floods and electrical emergencies in the old space.
The current landlord of the building passed away and the family chose to sell the building. While no set plans have been announced since the buildings have not yet been purchased, it’s excepted they will be torn down as they aren’t up to code.
Kunning is thrilled to be staying in Clintonville as she couldn’t imagine any other location for the shop.
“There are so many people who care about locally grown food and natural living,” she says. “The locavore movement is really present here. It’s a community of health conscious people who really care about local concerns.”
With neighbors like Wholly Craft and other maker shops, Boline’s new location is surrounded by what Kunning calls like-minded businesses.
“It’s a great spot for us,” she says. “It’s in the heart of walkable Clintonville. It’s right next to the farmers market.” Boline hopes to see an influx in customers and business between the new location and the individuals that will be coming in every day for their tonics.
For more information, visit bolineapothecary.com.
Photos by Rebecca Wagner.