Apotheca Inc.: Natural Healing from the Heartland
Apotheca Inc. has earned the respect and business of herbal, homeopathic and dietary supplement brand companies across the globe by offering a wide variety of quality natural health products, all from a single company location in the American heartland. The company was founded in 1987 and built its facilities amid the corn and soybean fields of western Iowa. From here the employee-owned company always adheres to stringent manufacturing practices set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and embraces a standard of excellence. Training, certifications, and capital investment in equipment and geo-thermal power have helped its team stay ahead of industry requirements and trends, and have ensured that every product Apotheca produces delivers on its goal to improve the health and well-being of consumers.
Plain and simple, Apotheca makes tablets, capsules, creams, gels and liquid natural healthcare products, along with new delivery formats, such as single-dose packages and oral sprays calibrated for correct and easy dosing. Its contract manufacturing customers order more than just pills and capsules or vitamins and minerals – they want the full breadth of supplements, including homeopathic, herbal and topical products, and they want them in unique packaging with appealing and accurate labeling.
The company calls Woodbine, Iowa, home. Apotheca has established a corporate campus spanning a total of seven buildings. “Unlike many in our industry, we have our very own herbal extraction facility and a laboratory designed for extensive in-house testing of components and finished product,” says Jesse Rettig, CEO of Apotheca. “And we are one of just a handful of homeopathic manufacturers in the country.” Rettig explains that each of these capabilities takes considerable skill and knowledge to develop, and Apotheca has been steadfast in its pursuit to be among the best in each of its chosen areas.
Taking a Holistic Approach
Homeopathy and herbal extracts are compounded and manufactured much like they have been for centuries, but Apotheca ensures that Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) as enforced by the FDA are in place. Apotheca’s homeopathic production is based on the traditional methods of homeopathic physicians, such as Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, who famously abandoned his medical practice in the 18th century in the belief that the medicines of his day did as much harm as good. His “provings” continue to be referenced and augmented by modern day practitioners around the world.
Apotheca’s herbal extraction facility gives the company greater control over the quality of herbal extracts with enhanced color retention and reduced oxidation. The facility is equipped to use the highly specialized and time-honored Spagyric extraction method, which allows Apotheca to incorporate the vitality of the whole plant, not just the parts, in its extracts.
Apotheca’s parent company, Grato Holdings Inc., boasts other assets, including the brands Peaceful Mountain, Liddell Laboratories and Energique. All three sister companies are based at the Woodbine location and contract with Apotheca for many of their retail products. Peaceful Mountain’s product lines include natural, organic herbs, homeopathics and ionic colloidal silver to assist the body’s functions naturally, offered in the form of creams, gels, ointments, nasal and throat sprays, and dietary supplements. Energique, with both a professional and retail line, specializes in singular and combination herbal products, medicinal-quality essential oils, and nutritional supplements.
Liddell Laboratories takes homeopathy one step further, and into the world of neohomeopathy, which differs from traditional homeopathic products by providing immune system support, detoxification and metabolic balance in addition to rapid symptom relief. Liddell Laboratories’ products represent an extensive portfolio of homeopathic products, effectively creating a pharmacy of holistic oral sprays to target everything from jet lag to aging and stress.
Given the range of Grato Holdings’ branded products it’s no surprise that Apotheca has become the homeopathic manufacturer of choice for many like-minded companies.
Continuing to Make a Difference
Both the FDA and the United States Pharmacopeia standards regulate Apotheca’s facilities. “Herbal and nutritional supplements are considered to be foods, but they’re still subject to the scrutinizing regulations of a drug, so we’re constantly in the process of tweaking our facilities and training our employees to remain in compliance,” adds Rettig. The continuous improvement process is facilitated in part by Apotheca’s employee stock ownership plan, which underscores the team’s shared responsibility for adhering to strict quality and safety standards.
Some of the more recent developments include the addition of blister packaging lines to Apotheca’s facilities, which enables the company to produce products in a single-dose format. Apotheca has also increased its production capabilities in gels and topical ointments. Elsewhere in the facility, Apotheca lines churn out capsules, powders, tablets and liquids bottled with droppers and atomizers. Packaging lines are specifically outfitted to produce precisely what the client requests with tamper-evident seals and shrinks to ensure consumer safety. “We do our own stability testing in-house, including shelf-life dating, but we will also work with a third-party laboratory on request,” states Rettig.
The extra effort ensures total compliance and safety pays off regularly. “My favorite part of the job is all the emails and telephone calls we receive on a daily basis thanking us for producing such a great product and providing much-needed relief to the consumer, whatever the ailment,” admits Rettig. In fact, Rettig was previously retired before joining Apotheca, but the company proved so promising that he and wife Kathy Simon, president of Apotheca, decided to make the purchase.
Ever since, the couple has helped Apotheca not only grow, but also stay ahead of industry regulations to supply a global consumer base with the highest quality natural remedies. With more people turning to homeopathy and natural remedies than ever before, Apotheca Inc. is poised to continue growing and healing consumers naturally for years to come.