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Our Story

Take a journey through time and follow the story of our Founder, Dorene Petersen, and her lifelong passion for plants. Growing up in the scenic South Island of New Zealand during the 1950s and 60s, Dorene's grandmother shared with her the invaluable knowledge of the natural world and the healing power of plants. Together, they roamed the paddocks surrounding their home, identifying wild berries, herbs, and mushrooms, and learning about their medicinal properties. This early education instilled in Dorene a deep appreciation for the power of nature and set her on a lifelong path to share her knowledge with others.

A message from our Founder, Dorene Petersen

As a child, I was fortunate enough to learn the secrets of natural medicine from my grandmother. Together, we crafted powerful herbal remedies using plants like yellow dock and dandelion roots. Despite their strong and often unpleasant taste, my grandmother assured us that these tonics would keep us healthy and strong. I learned to trust in the healing power of these remedies and in the importance of nurturing our bodies with wholesome food. With my parents' guidance, I tended to our backyard vegetable garden, where we grew a variety of delicious vegetables and herbs. From gathering seaweed for compost to planting, thinning, watering, and harvesting, I took great pride in cultivating the nourishing food that sustained us.

Images of Dorene Petersen, her mother and grandmother in New Zealand

With a lifelong passion for the healing power of plants, I have dedicated my life to understanding their uses and educating others about the benefits of everyday wellness practices. As a trained ethnobotanist, archaeologist, medical social worker, and Naturopath, I have seen firsthand the impact of degenerative chronic illness that could have been prevented with simple lifestyle changes and nourishing food and herbs.

Driven by my passion, I founded the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) to share the power of plants I learned as a child. This passion also inspired the founding of The Apothecary Shoppe, where students can explore the wonders of herbs and essential oils we have sourced from around the world. We are committed to providing the most vital, organic, and pesticide-free botanicals to promote health and wellness.

Today, I continue to use plants as medicine and food daily, growing herbs and vegetables in my backyard and creating herbal remedies and teas. At The Apothecary Shoppe, we are continually inspired by the resilience and adaptability of plants and how they can help us heal ourselves and our planet. Join us on our journey to harness the incredible power of nature to promote health and wellness for all.