Nature's Medicine

The Carrot Patch

3. Good Health and Well-Being

Overview

The Carrot Patch is a small business promotes good health within their community. The natural alternatives they proudly sell have given options to the small town of Thibodaux. Sweatman shared that post-Covid-19 time brought many new customers looking for natural immunity boosters and preventatives. This successful innovation possesses two solid qualities, they are usable and desirable.

(Dr. C: Be clear about how this relates to the UN SDGs. Consider the targets and key indicators of the SDGs to make this connection apparent: https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal3).

Authors

Janesa Buras

Janesa Buras

Lashawn Lewis

Lashawn Lewis

Hali Westerman

Hali Westerman

School

Nicholls State University

Nicholls State University

Professor

Christopher Castille

Christopher Castille

Innovation

“Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.” Hippocrates, Greek physician.

When meeting with Deborah Sweatman one of the main things that she wanted other people to know when creating the Carrot Patch is that they offer alternatives to modern medication. One of the main goals of this innovation is to educate people on how foods can potentially replace or put off the use of prescribed medicines. “In the 40 plus years of my kids being on this Earth they have never had medicine,” says Deborah. She does not expect anyone to do as they do but instead opens up one's curiosity in a healthier and safer way. The amount of time and love that has been invested in this business is unmeasurable. In the past, Deborah explained to us that doctors were against the thought of using herbs and natural forms of healing because the traditional practice of medicine did not encourage natural prevention. She even said how they called it “Hocus Pocus,” but now as time passes doctors and other individuals are starting to learn more about what they do, and starting to become more accepting of what the Carrot Patch is trying to accomplish. Working hand in hand while trying to achieve their common goal of helping each individual that comes their way. They do not want people to look at them as just another vitamin shop, but instead, they want to be seen as a place where you can go and educate yourself about these different alternatives that you can use besides pills and medication.

Nature's Medicine

Inspiration

Deborah described a situation that almost seemed to have happened completely by chance, to which most of us may be able to relate. When talking about what inspired her to come up with the innovation she chuckled because it was one of those things that happened when she least expected it. She was pursuing a degree in Nursing and everyone knows what a challenging school can be for everyone, especially nursing students. Deborah chuckled again, before saying she had a book report to do as a final for one of her nutrition classes and she went over to the bookstore and found the smallest book she could find. To her surprise, she could not find herself to put the book down -- the total opposite of what she intended to happen. Instead of moving on to write the report, she began doing more research. To this day she still has the book and it is available to her customers because of how impactful it was to her.

The book focused-in on vitamins and how they are able to naturally heal and do things for your body. Little did she know that the small book she picked up would turn into traveling to go to conferences and workshops to meet with herbalists that wrote books about this subject in hopes to find even more information. This was also back in a time period before the internet made it so easy to access certain information so she had to go out and find a lot of the information on her own. The experiences she had with these specialists were rewarding and allowed Deborah to grow. Her face lit up as she stated, “One of the Herbalists I listened to was from Oregon and they called him the Barefoot Herbalist.” Is it obvious he did not wear shoes? She was captivated by their healing methods a lot that came from their Indian tribes. It is important to highlight that Deborah did a lot in order to start her business without knowing whether or not they would succeed. She emphasized when trying to get a loan to start up her business she was turned down by many banks simply because they felt as though her idea would never work on top of being a woman. She described it as a gut feeling that she had to continue to push for her business despite all the odds.

Overall impact

The Carrot Patch has made a significant impact on the local community as well as surrounding areas. “We have people that drive from out of state for us to come to check out our shop, and we have many repeating customers,” says Sweatman. Many come looking for suggestions on which supplements, herbs, and oils to try. Deborah Sweatman has also bridged the gap with the medical community in her area, doctors now recommend patients to visit her shop and she recommends some patients to go see a doctor. This small business promotes good health within its community. The natural alternatives they proudly sell have given options to the small town of Thibodaux. Sweatman shared that post-Covid-19 brought many new customers looking for natural immunity boosters and preventatives. This successful innovation possesses two solid qualities, they are usable and desirable. 2020 was a year that these innovation opportunities in vitamins, minerals, and supplements became the new hot product. In a time where no one knew what our future would hold, the carrot patch was and is ready for the impacts the community will take today, tomorrow, and always. The Carrot Patch has made great strides in the all-natural community that will leave an imprint on the town forever.

Business benefit

The Carrot Patch has an advantage in being a unique business. Offering all-natural products as well as vegetarian meals to its customers. The owner, Deborah, has spent much of her time researching and pouring herself into becoming more knowledgeable on all-natural health. Her expertise offers a unique advantage to customers that come in wanting help, but not knowing where to start. The Carrot Patch strives to be more than a simple vitamin shop, they strive to be a place of wellness.

Social and environmental benefit

“Serving Thibodaux for over 40 years with experience and knowledge in Preventive Health,” a motto that the Carrot Patch stands by since the early 1980s. There is no doubt that this business fulfills what most wish they could when it comes to social and environmental benefits for their culture, customers, and community. Touching base on a handful of what the Carrot Patch embodies is difficult but in a good way. It is not often that a company accomplishes everything that prospective customers want to see and learn about the business before trusting them.

The community of Thibodaux has been a major focal point for the Carrot Patch during its time of being there. Deborah knew what she needed to do in order to succeed and that was gaining the trust of her community through her knowledge and experience with what she studied and devoted her life to. “People are intimidated by the unknown,” says Deborah. She started from the bottom and worked her way all the way up to being a guest speaker at Nicholls State University and other local groups in the community. One of the biggest and most profound accomplishments that Deborah emphasized was crossing the bridge and working with doctors and practicing physicians. She now has some of the most respected specialists and doctors recommending her to their own clients. Another major benefit is the Carrot Patch being eco-friendly and plant-based. They believe in creating a better environment and eliminating toxins that come along with certain products. Who would not want to help themselves and their community?

Costs are another benefit as well as many others. During the interview process, Deborah mentioned stories of clients coming into her store that have continued to do so on more than one occasion. She discussed how she has a library of books located in the back of her store that her customers have the opportunity to read and enjoy, just like she did back in college. She does not expect anyone to come in and buy anything nor will she force them to purchase something. Deborah believes the books assist in selling her products to potential customers with the hopes of inspiring them. She even asks that if you're hesitant to purchase something to speak to her customers and not her. Deborah and her family always have the best intentions at heart for their community and customers. The positive stories that her customers come back to share with her are beyond what money can buy. Having such a role in someone's life is something you can not put a price tag on.

If ever you find yourself driving through Thibodaux, Louisiana stop by the Carrot Patch and listen to the stories, knowledge, and love that comes from Deborah. You will understand what it means to wake up every day and love what you do. Deborah radiates energy from the moment you walk through the doors, getting to know her customers on a personal level and really hearing and understanding them when they speak. She is a wise lady with a lot to offer. You certainly would not regret the opportunity to learn about how food can be your medicine.


Interview

Deborah Sweatman, Owner

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The Carrot Patch

The Carrot Patch

Thibodaux, LA, US

Business Website: https://www.facebook.com/Carrot-Patch-384159931598637/?sk=page_map

Year Founded: 1977

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

The Carrot Patch is a small local store that prides itself on offering all-natural supplements, vitamins, and herbs. They have made strides within their community for providing alternatives to modern medicines.