Community wellness with the Apothecary in Inglewood

The Apothecary in Inglewood is a one-stop wellness shop dedicated to supplying the highest quality pure and unadulterated essential oils and 100 per cent natural bath, body and wellness products for all members of the family.

It is also known for supporting zero-waste home and reducing the environmental impact on society by both opening Calgary’s first dedicated refill destination in 2017 and for promoting the elimination of plastics in their shop. All of their products are made from local and Canadian businesses. They also manufacture their own products in Inglewood, supporting the cottage industry and contributing to the local economy.

Jill Hawker is the owner of The Apothecary in Inglewood. “I believe that people deserve and need to be paid for what they’re worth, and I have been criticized for it and that’s cool,” said Jill. “I never wanted to pay my staff just minimum wage because this is so much more than a minimum wage job and I don’t want my employees to have to feel that when they put in a full-work week here, or a workday here that they still haven’t earned enough money…”

By paying a living wage and establishing a company culture that values employees, it has retained its staff who love being there and who feel connected to the business. In their window sits a sticker that reads “Living Wage Paid Here”, proudly advertising their commitment to fair and adequate compensation for its staff.

At Vibrant Communities Calgary, we often say that paying a living wage is a poverty reduction strategy. A company who invests in its employees and pays a Living Wage can prevent their staff from falling into poverty. We call this an upstream action, and it can go a long way.

Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC) has had a long-time relationship with The Apothecary as they were an early participant of the former Living Wage Leader Program administered by VCC. It was no surprise when they applied for REAP’s Empowering Employees Leader Award.

REAP stands for Respect for the Earth and All People. REAP is a not-for-profit association for locally owned businesses that care about the community and the environment. REAP’s Annual Be Local Awards program is delivered in partnership with First Calgary Financial and recognizes excellence in our local economy by sharing the stories of the incredible work many companies and organizations are doing to support people and planet. Each year six leadership awards are presented.

The Empowering Employees Leader Award is presented by Vibrant Communities Calgary to a REAP member that is affecting meaningful and sustainable progress towards reducing poverty through employee-centered practices that build resilience. These may include but are not limited to paying a living wage, providing additional forms of compensation, financial literacy and employee wellness programs.

The decision to select an award recipient was no easy task and although The Apothecary was not the award-winning recipient in 2018, they are making a difference in our local community.

The Apothecary in Inglewood is located at 921 – 9 Ave SE, Calgary. Visit their website at

(Photo credit: Tyler Stalman)

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