Last week I visited a beautiful pharmacy in Berlin-Wilmersdorf – Saint Charles Apotheke (www.saintcharles.de), a partner store of the eponymous pharmacy in Vienna. They have a really unusual retail concept which is why I’m writing my December Cityscape article for Mintel on Saint Charles Berlin.
The store on Pariser Straße 20 (10707 Berlin) looks completely unlike typical German pharmacies which is part of its charm – and a total USP. Instead of white glass fronts and a clinically bright and sparse interior, Saint Charles has an elegant narrow entrance, wooden floors and shelves and a gorgous chandelier. It looks more like a high-class perfumery selling unusual niche brands – and this is pretty much what Saint Charles also does.
It is a regular pharmacy selling prescription medicines and so on but the special focus lies on natural/herbal remedies and treatments and organic C&T. You can get consultations on Bach flowers, Schuessler salts or ayurvedic treatments; instead of the usual pharmacy C&T brands like Avène, Vichy, Eucerin, La Roche-Posay and so on, Saint Charles is one of the only two Berlin retailers to sell UK premium organic brand The Organic Pharmacy. They also have Dr. Hauschka and SantaVerde, Perricone (a US cosmeceutical brand which is also difficult to find in Germany), Siriderma and Biomaris.
In addition Saint Charles sells its own label range of cosmetics, nutritional supplements and teas – all of which are manufactured by it’s parent pharmacy in Vienna – and has some very premium home fragrance brands, too, like Neom from the UK and Lichtjuwel from Germany.
However, what I especially liked were the Sapofaktur products, a range of facial tonics, hair tonic, fragrant waters and furniture polish made to old pharmacy recies by Nierle pharmacy in the South of Germany. The retro packaging is fantastic. Again, Saint Charles is one of the few German retailers that stock Sapofaktur products.
The Apotheke also offers a range of skin and body care treatments in a beautiful treatment room located next to the pharmacy. The brands they use are The Organic Pharmacy (and I defy you to find another salon or store in the Berlin area offering Organic Pharmacy spa treatments!), Dr. Hauschka, Siriderma and SantaVerde.
If you’re in the neighbourhood, pay Saint Charles Apotheke a visit, it is so worth it! And just down the street is Sweet2go (www.sweet-2-go.de) a lovely little café that serves the most amazing crumbles (apple, plum, berry and so on) and has scrumptious ice cream – try the salted caramel!