Updated: Oct 3, 2021
"A Botanical Love Story" with Herbal Products, Medicinal Herbs, and Fresh, Artisan-Made Products at 10112 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Fair Oaks Village
We're pleased to introduce Deborah Bustamante, owner of Botanica Village Apothecary in our Business Spotlight Series.
We connected with Deborah to learn more about her and her business, Botanica Village Apothecary.
What is Botanica Village Apothecary, how would you describe it to a friend?
Botanica Village Apothecary is my botanical love story to the Sacramento Valley and the American River. It is a working apothecary that I run all aspects of.
Herbal products are made onsite and offered to the public community. The medicinal herbs are grown by me in my garden or ethically wild-harvested in nature here in the valley, up in the High Sierra, or on the coast. Everything is artisan-made and handcrafted in small batches so my clients can count on fresh products.
Available in the shop are healing salves, balms, creams, scrubs, oils, tea blends, tinctures, and a line of facial care products. I also have some beautiful art cards, olive oil soaps, essential oils, beeswax candles, books, and herbal tarot cards from various local creators.
What's something you wish people knew about your business?
I’m making my best effort to be a quality resource for the community in herbal medicine. I don’t label things organic but everything is either organic, carefully gathered from the wild, or biodynamic (grown in rhythm and synergy with the cosmos).
The little bottles of remedies in the shop contain the forces of the sun, moon, and stars, as well as the human forces of love, gratitude, and best wishes for radiance in health, and of course the multi-faceted medicinal constituents of the plants that are regulators of health.
That’s the horn I don’t toot but is in the rhythm of this place, groovin’ all the time.
What's a common question you get?
“Do you do herb walks?” The answer is that I do them privately at this point, but maybe in the near future. And I love that there is an interest in this!
Getting to know the plants themselves, where they grow, what time of year they peak, the things they can be used for, and how to properly ID, harvest, store, and prepare them is connecting to no less than your personal empowerment.
This interest in healing oneself and connecting directly to the plants is a huge step in taking an active role in your own health care.
What's the biggest compliment you've received?
When people drop in just to see my dog, Josie : ) They do and I love it!
The love is also felt when clients tell their friends and family, or better yet, bring them in with them. Along with that is supporting each other in The Village community of practitioners and business owners.
When we refer to each other we show that we trust and rely on one another as resources to our clients. There is a beautiful tapestry of support forming here, especially with Nectar of Life, Therabee Massage, and The Nest! Thank you so much, ladies!
Are you involved with or do you support any local nonprofits, community organizations or causes?
I’m a member of BDANC (Biodynamic Association of Northern California), Effie Yeaw Nature Center, The Yosemite Conservancy, The Sonoma County Herb Exchange, United Plant Savers, Sacramento Valley Chapter of the CA Native Plant Society, and The American Herbalists Guild.
What do you enjoy about having your business in the Fair Oaks Village? What would you like to see?
It’s a community. Warm greetings and familiar faces abound, we love and support each other every day.
From the people who live nearby and like to hang out here, to the business owners I see, we all care about this special little place and want to see it thrive. We are holding a collective vision of vitality for the future and are happy to be here.
I also love having my business here because it has the integrity of pioneer history and the warmth and charm only a place that has preserved its unique history can offer.
Now we just need to also honor our prehistory a bit more in The Village. The local tribes of Native Americans are virtually unseen at this time and I’d like to see a small museum or monument here to honor them soon.
What are some cons about doing business in the Village?
I really don’t have one. And the people who come through my door have no complaints either.
I am getting local tourists on Saturdays, and non-locals traveling from afar to spend time here. It’s a little destination.
What are some of your favorite things about the Village?
This question is deep because I grew up here. My family moved here from San Jose in 1972; I was 4 years old. I lived here until 1986, then moved back in 1999, and have lived here to date. This place is a big part of me, I’d even say imprinted on me, it’s deep.
The river smells, the river, the oaks, the blackberries, the herons, the way the seasons cycle here, the warm summer nights, the quaint and cozy feel, the chickens, the bike trail, the American River Parkway, the easy access to the wild, the "salt of the earth” people I love….these are all my favorite things about The Village.
Besides your own, what is your favorite business(s) in the Fair Oaks Village?
The long-term Fair Oaks resident in me has to say The Sunflower! What an institution now, it's been here longer than me by a few years and I have always loved it!
The more current resident in me has to say Fair Oaks Brew Pub. This one lovely place has built the community recently more than I can possibly say. It is a favorite go-to and I always have a fun time there. They offer great service, food, regular clientele, and often host the fabulous local Village musician, Jessica Malone. Yes to great live music!
And last but not least, the Fair Oaks Theater Festival. How it has grown beautifully recently.
What changes would you like to see in the future for the Village?
I’d like to have a bookstore in The Village again, more live music, and a farmer’s market.
Are you a member of the chamber or any other networking organizations?
I joined the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce as soon as I opened my doors last October (2018).
What is the importance of community to you? Community is the most important thing to me. My business relies mostly on word of mouth, and as I said above, it is also my favorite part of The Village.
Do you have any new products?
I am very excited to offer two new full lines of products at the apothecary. The “Beautiful" facial products line includes toners, serums, oils, also a hair treatment oil, and soon to come... a gentle foaming cleanser and a rose cacao mask. And the pregnancy and postpartum product line, includes a tea blend, sitz bath, diaper rash salve, baby massage oil, Mama’s stretch cream, and breastfeeding balm.
Anything else you’d like to add?
First of all, thank you so much to the Fair Oaks Village Enhancement Committee for having me. The integrity of the work you are doing is deeply valuable to the village and much appreciated. I am honored to be here in support of the Fair Oaks Village Enhancement Committee.
I would like people to know they can place orders online at my website, www.botanicadeb.com.
I also have an Instagram account with the most up-to-date information, activities, and musings about the apothecary. The handle is @botanicavillageapothecary. I appreciate the follow and online interaction.
Lastly, I want to add that my children help me immensely with the shop. My son does a lot of my photography (learn more about his professional photography at kamilobustamante.com), and my daughter helps with harvesting, making, displaying, and selling. They know everything about this place.