At Kit’s Apothecary in Astoria, customers can find a mix of eclectic gifts and homemade health products to help with chronic pain, fatigue and other ailments.
“There are so many times when life is so boring, especially when you’re dealing with a chronic illness—you don’t find a lot of humor in things,” said owner Kirsten Norgaard, who also goes by Kit. “So to be able to pick up something that is going to take your pain away and then get an apron that says the f-word on it, you’re kind of like, ‘Yeah, that’s exactly how I feel right now.’”
Originally, Norgaard was researching and making products for herself and her son, who has a rare health disorder. As she developed items that produced positive benefits, she would share them with friends and family. Her business grew from there.
Norgaard opened Kit’s Apothecary in the Copeland Building on Commercial Street about a year and a half ago. However, her dream was to be in Astoria’s historic Sanborn Building—a dream that came true in June 2019. The building includes a commercial kitchen, work room, storage, office space and solarium.
“It’s everything that I need,” Norgaard said.
Norgaard’s client base is a mix of regulars who come in routinely to pick up health products and grab something from the gift shop, and tourists who pass by, see items in the window and then realize it’s also a health store.
According to Norgaard, a substantial portion of her job is speaking with clients about where and how they’re experiencing pain, trying to identify the root cause, and giving recommendations for what they can try, from supplements to diet changes.
Many people still don’t understand how deeply health and diet are interconnected, she said.
“It’s amazing what diet changes can do,” Norgaard said.
The shop’s flagship product is liposomal vitamin C, a high-dose vitamin C contained in organic sunflower lecithin, a fat that allows the body to absorb the vitamin, Norgaard said.
“When you’re able to absorb that and you’re able to utilize that, the health benefits are just so much more,” she said.
Norgaard puts effort into using organic, biodegradable and ethically-sourced products. She doesn’t believe in adding unnecessary ingredients, such as excess preservatives, to her edible items. Eventually, she would like to host group meetings that enable people to come together and socialize.
Kit’s Apothecary is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday at 1004 Marine Drive in Astoria.