Die Saint Charles Story | Am Anfang war das Feuer

The Saint Charles Story | In the beginning was fire

Only the evolution of humans over 350,000 years ago, such as the development of language or the mastery of fire, are responsible for the miracle of humankind. Only through fire was it possible to make weapons, protect oneself from predators or cook food, which also dramatically reduced the risk of infection with bacteria. This not only brought safety, but also made it possible for the first time to store food such as medicinal herbs. The first beginnings of naturopathy also emerged at that time, because early humans soon learned which herbs could help against which evil or which poison was effective.

The use of nature's treasures and knowledge about preparations were passed down from generation to generation. From this developed the "profession" of the shamans or medicine men, whose secret knowledge was later also the basis for the profession of the pharmacist...


What does all this have to do with Saint Charles?

In 2006, fire also made a development possible... At the campfire of an old estate in Prigglitz (later Saint Charles Refugium) not only a new logo was created, but above all the idea for a new, holistic concept "pharmacy". Ancient traditions of Traditional European Medicine (TEM), starting with Paracelsus, via Hildegard von Bingen, up to the present day, were to enter into a symbiosis with modern knowledge of medicine - as well as the combination of sustainability and aesthetics.

Through this "burning" for a new concept, the Saint Charles Apotheke was born at that campfire, which pharmacist Alexander Ehrmann later built up into a successful family for holistic health. True to the motto "The herbs we find on our doorstep can be processed into remedies, used in cosmetics or eaten", he created a natural cosmetics shop (Cosmothecary), a cosmetics institute (Hideaway), an organic inn (Alimentary) and a centre for health (Complementary) alongside the pharmacy. With Sabine Zeeck, another committed pharmacist in Berlin immediately let herself be sparked by this concept and this burning.

"It must burn in you what you wish to kindle in others" Augustine Aurelius

And the fire continued to burn in pharmacist Alexander Ehrmann, himself a 6th generation pharmacist. Ehrmann, who helped develop formulas in his father's pharmacy in the basement as a child - is now always on hand to offer advice and support with a large team, many loyal customers and friends who have been inspired by the idea of Traditional European Medicine and the philosophy of Saint Charles.


Passion meets entrepreneurial spirit

Almost ten years were to pass before this fire allowed for further leapfrog development. Chance or passion - probably a combination of both - brought the experienced entrepreneurs Nick Pöschl and Richard König to the pharmacy in 2015. Through the passion for the topics of sustainability and natural healing that had developed in recent years, both were immediately on fire for the idea of Saint Charles.

A new umbrella company was founded together at the end of 2015 to take care of the establishment of the Saint Charles brand outside the salesroom of the pharmacy (the Offizin) as the brand owner. And again, fire was involved, as the shared passion was sealed at a bonfire in Prigglitz in the summer of 2015. Since then, both entrepreneurs, together with pharmacist Alexander Ehrmann, have supported the further expansion of Saint Charles. Richard König, alongside Alexander Ehrmann, has also taken over the management of the new company, whose team is responsible for international brand development, sales and the Saint Charles online world.


Not "more", but "better"

Under this motto, a lot has happened in recent years. To keep up with the times, the online presence has also been renewed - with the aim of reflecting the philosophy of Saint Charles, but also the numerous activities, stories and products online. This means that international visitors and tourists to the pharmacy can also conveniently order Saint Charles products worldwide from home via the online store.

In the existing, but also in the many new developments that have emerged in the last two years, a lot has been invested in sustainable and innovative products. Existing and proven product lines have been revised, and new products in the field of natural cosmetics, aromatherapy or food supplements have been created. Regional partnerships, diversity, local superfoods, organic certification, new scientific findings or even the avoidance of packaging waste in product development, were at the forefront of all these activities.

We were also able to gain many new partners and friends. Saint Charles products, such as our apothecary soap, our natural cosmetic products or also herbal teas and organic vegetable oils, can be found in numerous catering establishments. But also the upscale hotel industry, from Vienna to Lech am Arlberg, attaches importance to natural products for their guests. The natural cosmetic care series Saint Charles Private Blend was developed especially for this purpose together with our partner LaBottega, an international specialist for hotel equipment, which is available in the Naturhotel Forsthofgut (Leogang, AT), in the new Designhotel Hotel-Stein (Salzburg, AT) or in the Grätzlhotel (Vienna, AT). Another line of care products (body wash, hand wash, shampoo, lotion) will soon be introduced with the refreshing and energising scent of our Soul Splash body spray.


Saint Charles goes International

Saint Charles products are now also available in selected natural cosmetics shops, partner pharmacies or concept shops in numerous European countries. We are convinced that we can make a positive contribution to the future with our actions and deeds. With respect for nature and our fellow human beings, we want to face future global challenges in a positive way. Above all, we see it as our task to pass on the fire for the power of nature, which can provide invaluable value for our health. True to the motto:

"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the passing on of fire" Thomas More

Cover photo: Richard König (left), Alexander Ehrmann (right)
Link: Saint Charles Team International