The evolution of mankind more than 350,000 years ago, such as the development of language or the mastery of fire, are responsible for the miracle of mankind. Only through the fire it was possible to produce weapons, protect oneself from predators or to cook food, which also significantly reduced the risk of infection with bacteria. This not only brought safety, but allowed the storage of food such as medicinal herbs for the first time. The first approaches of naturopathy were also developed at that time, because early humans soon learned which herbs could help against which evil or which poison worked.
The use of nature’s treasures and knowledge about preparations have been handed down from generation to generation. This developed into the “profession” of shamans or medicine men, whose secret knowledge later became the basis for the profession of pharmacists…
What does all this have to do with Saint Charles?
Also in 2006 the fire made a development possible… At the campfire of an old manor in Prigglitz (later Saint Charles Refugium) not only a new logo was created, but above all the idea for a new, holistic “pharmacy” concept. Old traditions of Traditional European Medicine (TEM), starting with Paracelsus, through Hildegard von Bingen to the present day, should form a symbiosis with modern medical knowledge – as well as the combination of sustainability and aesthetics.
Through this “burning” for a new concept, the Saint Charles pharmacy was created at that campfire, which later on was turned into a successful family for holistic health by pharmacist Alexander Ehrmann. According to the motto “The herbs we find on our doorstep, we can process into remedies, let them work in cosmetics or eat them”, he created a natural cosmetics shop (Cosmothecary), a cosmetics institute (Hideaway), an organic innkeeper’s house (Alimentary) and a health centre (Complementary) in addition to the pharmacy. Sabine Zeeck, another committed pharmacist in Berlin, was immediately inspired by this concept and this burning desire.
“It must burn in you what you want to light in others”
And the fire continued to burn in pharmacist Alexander Ehrmann, who is himself a 6th generation pharmacist. Ehrmann, who had already helped develop recipes in his father’s pharmacy in the basement as a child, is now always on hand with advice and support with a large team, many loyal customers and friends who were enthusiastic about 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 a further erratic development. Coincidence or passion – probably a combination of both – brought experienced entrepreneurs Nick Pöschl and Richard König to the pharmacy in 2015. Due to the passion for sustainability and naturopathy that has arisen in recent years, both were immediately on fire for the idea of Saint Charles.
At the end of 2015, a new umbrella company was founded together with the aim of establishing the Saint Charles brand outside the pharmacy’s salesroom. And again the fire was in play, because the common passion was sealed in summer 2015 with a campfire in Prigglitz. Together with pharmacist Alexander Ehrmann, both entrepreneurs have since then been supporting the further expansion of Saint Charles. In addition to Alexander Ehrmann, Richard König has also taken over the management of the new company, whose team is responsible for product development, sales and the Saint Charles online world in addition to the international brand development.
Not “more,” but “better”
Under this motto, a lot has happened in recent years. In order to keep up with the times, the website has also been redesigned to reflect Saint Charles’ philosophy, as well as the many activities, stories and products online. This means that international visitors and tourists of the pharmacy can order Saint Charles products from home via the online store.
Much has been invested in sustainable and innovative products, not only in the existing but also in the many new developments that have been developed over the last two years. Existing and established product lines have been reworked and new products in the areas of natural cosmetics, aromatherapy and dietary supplements have been created. Regional partnerships, diversity, local superfoods, organic certification, new scientific findings and the avoidance of packaging waste in product development were at the forefront of all these activities.
We were also able to win many new partners and friends. Saint Charles products, such as our pharmacy soap, our natural cosmetics products or herbal teas and organic vegetable oils, can be found in numerous restaurants. But the upscale hotel industry, from Vienna to Lech am Arlberg, also attaches great importance to natural products for its guests. Especially for this purpose, the natural cosmetics care range Saint Charles Privatmischung was developed in cooperation with our partner LaBottega, an international specialist for hotel furnishing, which delights its guests in the Naturhotel Forsthofgut (Leogang, AT), in the new Designhotel Hotel-Stein (Salzburg, AT) or in the Grätzlhotel (Vienna, AT). The refreshing and energizing fragrance of our Soul Splash body spray will soon be introduced in a further line of skin care products (Body Wash, Hand Wash, Shampoo, Lotion).
Saint Charles goes International
In the meantime, Saint Charles products are also available in selected natural cosmetics shops, partner pharmacies or concept stores in numerous European countries. We are convinced that with our actions we can contribute something positive for the future. With respect for nature and our fellow human beings, we want to confront the future global challenges in a positive way. Above all, however, we see it as our task to pass on fire for the power of nature, which can give us an invaluable value for our health. True to the motto:
„Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the handing down of fire“
Cover picture: Richard König (left), Alexander Ehrmann (right)