LANGLEY — One recent morning, the door to Living Green Natural Food and Apothecary in Langley was wide open and the wind kicked up a soft hollow sound from the wood chimes hanging there. An essence of something mild, bergamot perhaps mixed with lavender, or some other soft elixir, wafted through the entrance creating a sense of lightness and tranquility in the sun-soaked shop.
Once inside, the preparations for a busy summer day were in full swing.
Owners Cheryl “Cherub” Zimmermann and Stacy Wick were busy, but excited to talk about their new partnership and the transformations that are presently taking place at Living Green.
A new dance studio called Open Space, with its 800 square feet of sprung bamboo flooring, is already open and to celebrate, Living Green will hold a grand opening dance party from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 23. It’s free and open to the public for dancing with local DJ “The Kettle,” appetizers and the sale of local beers and wines.
In addition to the new Open Space where classes have already begun in 5Rhythms Wave dance with Christine Tasseff
(9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Mondays) and Emily Day (10:30 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays), as well as Buddhist meditation practice at 7 p.m. Mondays and 7 a.m. Wednesdays, the owners have big plans for the space.
“Our vision is to expand to become a wellness center, but we also want to keep it groovy and fun, with regular shows of live music, dancing and DJs,” Zimmermann said.
The idea, she said, is to include additional classes in yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and hula hooping, raw food preparation and also offer workshops, healing circles, wellness fairs and regular dance parties.
“Basically we want to remind people to play, while they are taking care of themselves,” she added.
But more than a dance studio is being added to the several thousand square feet space at Living Green.
In addition to the apothecary, where customers can find a wide array of vitamins, herbal remedies, lotions and other medicinal items, the cafe offers a full menu of vegetarian, vegan, raw and gluten-free foods using as much local produce as possible, which Zimmermann said is an important part of Living Green’s ethic. The cafe also offers an organic juice bar with fresh fruit smoothies, super food drinks and natural treats. A small grocery section sells bulk foods, raw foods and local sauces. A children’s play area is available for browsing parents and caregivers. There is also a lending library where visitors can borrow books on spiritual, mental and physical health for up to one month.
Living Green also participates at the new Langley Friday Market from 3 to 7 p.m. on Second Street where baked, gluten-free and other natural treats are sold, along with some very popular organic strawberry lemonade.
That’s just the beginning.
Living Green has created two new spaces for wellness practitioners, and Wick, a licensed massage therapist, is already taking appointments at her new treatment room behind the cafe.
A second treatment room is in the works for certified rolfer Joe Dunkley, and future expansion will include a detox room with a far infrared sauna, a hyperbaric oxygen chamber and a place for foot detox and ionization.
Also unfinished but presently under construction is the new “Belief Boutique,” a vintage/recycled/eco clothing shop which will feature retro, gently used, good quality clothing in all styles for all people. The owners describe the boutique as having a “Bohemian gypsy den vibe.”
They are also very excited about introducing an organic herb shop in the boutique with a sit down bar where shoppers can buy elixirs and tonics, bulk herbs and culinary spices.
“Redefining Living Green has allowed us to open up to bigger possibilities,” Zimmermann said.
And that’s why, she said, she reconnected with her old friend Wick, who also had a dream for a wellness center.
“We both had a vision to create a place where the mental, spiritual and physical self could find balance,” Zimmermann said.
Wick said she is the administrative person on the team, while her partner is the person who exudes support for all the customers.
“It’s been 10 months and I’ve had all sorts of emotions about this, but we’re right on track and where we’re supposed to be,” Wick said.
“It’s all a part of the ebb and flow of creating our full vision.”
Wick said she couldn’t imagine being a part of Living Green without her friend Cherub, who created the store back in 1998. She’s the people person and provides the place where customers can come in and find the magic; a place where they can participate with their senses.
“Cherub is the light that makes Living Green happen,” Wick said.
“They can also come here and get a hug,” she added.
Living Green Natural Food and Apothecary is at 630 Second St. in Langley. Call 221-8242 for treatment appointments. A special for massage therapy and energy work with Wick will be available at $40 per hour through the end of August. Also, check the calendar posted outside for changes to the Buddhist meditation schedule.
Patricia Duff can be reached at 221-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.