It was 2018 when the Teasdale sisters, Alicia and Miranda, started brainstorming their new business venture. Being inspired by entrepreneurship, the sisters were ready for a change. Initially, the five-year plan turned into a reality when the pandemic hit; both sisters moved back to Nova Scotia from Alberta in March 2021. After nine months of extensive renovations, Teasdale Apothecary Co. was ready to open its doors in January 2022 in the beautiful University town of Antigonish. Co-founders Miranda and Alicia have a passion for healthy people, a healthy community, and a healthy planet.
St. Francis Xavier University
One change to highlight is the ability to buy specific healthcare and cleaning products by weight. You, of course, must bring a bottle Overall, the business has taken many different actions that are progressing across most of the SDG goals. One to highlight is goal 12, ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. Unsustainable production and consumption have plagued the world for decades and are the driving force behind planetary crises such as loss of biodiversity, pollution, and climate change. Changes in consumption and production habits are crucial for creating a sustainable system for everyone that does not place such a heavy burden on our planet and ecosystem.or container from home to fill the product you need, but as Miranda and Alicia stated, buying soap without the bottle dramatically reduces the price. Like many products we buy, the price of the packaging and the plastic are already calculated into the price. They noted that it is great to see people filling up on cleaner or dish soap and to be shocked when they see the price.
Their most significant innovation was in reusable pharmaceutical containers. Miranda has a lot of insight from working in the pharmaceutical industry and seeing the amount of waste produced; she saw an opportunity for innovation in this industry. The single-use little pill bottles couldn't be reused due to their contents, and they are tough to recycle and often just get thrown into landfills. Seeing this prompted them to start a reusable glass prescription vial program, which allows you to get your prescriptions filled in the same container for only a 2- or 3-dollar deposit at the first purchase. They are the first pharmacy in Nova Scotia to offer reusable glasses for prescriptions. These innovations highlight this business committed to ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Miranda and Alicia longed for a shift in healthcare practices regarding the products and waste we produce, which stemmed from a personal obligation to reduce single-use products plastics in their own lives. Through their business, Miranda and Alicia provide their community with nontoxic options with minimal preservatives that are not only good for consumers but are also good for our planet. Teasdale Apothecary Co. has committed to sourcing all their zero waste products through Nova Scotian and Canadian manufacturers or ethical Canadian suppliers who source their products internationally. Miranda noted that "both the store and the pharmacy are on their own zero waste journey." Additionally, the sisters discussed how they saw a need for a compounding pharmacy in the town of Antigonish. Before Teasdale Apothecary Co. opened, the closest compounding pharmacy was a 30-40 minute drive away. It is necessary to recognize that their business has satisfied this need which has a positive social impact on people who live in Antigonish since it saves them travel time and expenses.
Canadians use and dispose of hundreds of millions of plastic pill bottles. Teasdale Apothecary Co. is the first pharmacy in Nova Scotia to offer its customers the chance to participate in a reusable glass vial program as a commitment to reducing the amount of plastic.
Looking at statistics from stats Canada we can see as of 2018, Canadians 65 years and older filled approximately 8.3 prescriptions per year and, Canadians aged 55-64 filled around 7.1 prescriptions per year (1). To add numbers to the situation, as of 2021 the population of Canadians 65 years and older is 7,081,792 million (2). Now multiply that population by the number of prescriptions per year and you get 58,778,874 million, that’s close to 60 million pill bottles every year and that’s only counting the population that 65 and up. This is a massive problem as people will continue to need their specific medications. Its people like Miranda and Alicia who recognize the pressing issues in the world, and they are the ones who find unique solutions to issues and look to improve it for everyone’s benefit.
1 - https://www.statista.com/statistics/950687/prescription-numbers-filled-by-canadians-by-age/
2 - https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1710000501
For the Teasdale sisters, it is essential to effectively balance making a profit while also doing good in their community. While they have only been open for eight weeks, the positive response that they have gotten from the community has surpassed their expectations and given them confidence in what they will be able to accomplish, as a business, in years to come. While operating sustainably is often associated with higher costs for businesses and consumers, given the reduced use of plastic needed for packaging their products, some of their prices are actually more affordable since customers do not have to pay for packaging. Hence, it is possible to do good for the environment and business simultaneously. Their innovation serves a growing demand for zero-waste lifestyles as consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of consumption.
The Teasdale Apothecary Co. has a small staff team, and the Teasdale sisters do a large amount of the day-to-day operations themselves, which gives them extra money to invest back into the company. They have different backgrounds, which means that they each have unique perspectives and different skill sets that they can bring to their business. Since the store is still in its initial phase, the owners are still finding more partners that share the same vision and are actively working to build relationships with other pharmacies and physicians.
The Teasdale Apothecary provides the Antigonish community with a sustainable retail experience, offering its customers healthier alternatives to toxic home and personal care products that are good for the environment. All their products are ethically made and work to eliminate the use of single-use plastics that harm our planet. They offer bulk refillable for household items while encouraging the community to simplify their routines and consume less. They are the first pharmacy in the province to offer a reusable glass prescription vial program, which allows customers to get their prescriptions filled while eliminating the waste that typically comes along with that.
Furthermore, they are selective with the companies they choose to work with and the brands they carry in their store to help ensure they understand their entire value chain. Moreover, the Teasdale sisters value the importance of creating an inclusive environment that accepts and welcomes everyone who enters their pharmacy, regardless of how they choose to present themselves. Social justice is a cornerstone of their business, and part of their long-term business plan is to ensure that they can pay their staff a living wage instead of simply meeting the government-mandated minimum wage.
Alicia and Miranda Teasdale, Co-Founders
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Antigonish, Nova Scotia, CA
Business Website: https://www.teasdaleapothecary.com/
Year Founded: 2022
Number of Employees: 2 to 10
Teasdale Apothecary Co. incorporates a full-service compounding pharmacy that meets all community pharmacy needs, including filling prescriptions, assessing and prescribing for minor ailments, administering injections, providing medication reviews, and so much more. Additionally, Teasdale Apothecary Co. includes a storefront of a wide selection of low-zero waste health and lifestyle products, bulk refillable home and personal care items, and natural alternative products from brands committed to high-quality ingredients environmental initiatives.