WEST MILTON — For Kim Wolf, owning her own business was a long-held dream. Now it has become a reality with the opening of Marmee’s Pantry in West Milton.
Wolf, whose story will carry bulk foods, herbs and spices, essential oils and more, sees herself as carrying on a tradition of herbalists. A grand opening and ribbon cutting is planned for 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, March 10.
“I’ve always been interested in home remedies and things, probably because one of my grandmothers did a lot of home remedies. I missed that,” she said.
Wolf, who home schooled her two daughters for 16 years, was also looking for ways to live more frugally on one income. She started making her own remedies, as well as homemade toothpaste, salves for aches and pains, deodorant and laundry detergent.
“I had the ability to try things out and do some research and make my own concoctions — to be frugal,” she recalled. She also started shopping at bulk food stores, which planted the idea for Marmee’s Pantry. She later started working at a natural food market in Dayton, where she enjoyed sharing remedies and recipes that had benefited her own family.
No matter the state of the economy, people want nutritious and affordable food, Wolf said. At Marmee’s Pantry — named for the mother in “Little Women,” a favorite book of Wolf’s and her daughters’ — she aims to offer bulk foods and natural products at affordable prices.
The store will offer a wide variety of products, including more than 150 culinary and medicinal herbs and spices, essential oils, mineral and plant-based cosmetics, tea blends, homeopathic remedies, ear candles, balms and salves. The bulk foods selection will include pastas, flours and sugars, beans, nuts and fruits.
“There will be more to come as time goes by,” she added.
Wolf pointed out that she is not a doctor and cannot offer medical advice, but added that she has years of experience making her own blends and remedies and can offer guidance. She also pointed to centuries-long traditions of using plants to make natural remedies, like using ginger to soothe an upset stomach.
“I’m just carrying on the tradition. I’m just trying not to let this die,” she said. “Any of the herbal products that I recommend, I am not going to put a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo on it. I’m going to recommend it to you for what it is known to do — no big promises, no New Age or witchcraft. I’m just selling it for what it is known to do for hundreds of years.
She encourages anyone interested in herbal remedies to do their research and buy quality products. Wolf will offer reference guides in-store and plans to host workshops on various topics.
“This is a business from my heart. This is a 15 year dream,” she said. “I will try to advise people as best I can.”
Wolf, a West Milton resident who formerly served as Miami County’s home school coordinator, also runs a blog with the same name as the store, where she posts recipes and remedies.
For more information about the shop, like Marmee’s Pantry on Facebook or call (937) 719-3138. The store hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Marmee’s Pantry is located at 25 S. Miami Street in West Milton.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.