Seasons Pharmacy and Culinaria – Promoting a Healthier Lifestyle with Digital Tools
Seasons Pharmacy and Culinaria are on a mission to change the way our culture deals with chronic illness. After working for Canada’s largest food retailer, operating pharmacies, thinking about the grocery carts full of edible food-like substances, and handing out bags of pills, owners Rachelle and Laurie decided it was time to take a serious look at the “lifestyle factors” taught to every pharmacy student.
With more than 20 years of experience managing and operating pharmacies throughout Ontario, Rachelle and Laurie opened Seasons Pharmacy and Culinaria as an expression of food as medicine, exploring the impact of pharmacists combining sound advice about medications with home cooking to optimize health.
As a fairly new business, Seasons Pharmacy and Culinaria lacked the digital tools and knowledge to reach a broader audience. Before completing the Transformation Teams program, the team was comfortable managing its Facebook but required more resources to build a comprehensive website that they could easily manage. Additionally, Seasons Pharmacy and Culinaria required an alternative way to reach customers who may not be on social media.
Through the Future Proof program, the Transformation Team addressed these concerns by revitalizing its website and developing an email marketing strategy. The team also created social media templates, set up a social media management platform and provided them with a social media plan.
Their website was redeveloped entirely using WordPress with a Shopify integration. The website was designed to include a section for new recipes, blogs, and an e-commerce store. As a pharmacy, the owners wanted to showcase the two pillars of the business, food and pharmacy, especially food as medicine. A page for each pillar was added to showcase the services and products that customers can expect when they shop in-store.
When visiting Seasons Pharmacy and Culinaria, you may find local food and ingredients that are not commonly found in major grocery stores. With this in mind, it was important to create a section on the website that allowed staff to share their favourite recipes that customers can easily follow and make in the comfort of their own kitchen. Similarly, the blog acted as a section to highlight their local vendors, educate customers, share news and upcoming events.
Finally, we integrated Shopify to allow customers to shop for their favourite vitamins and supplements easily. Many of the products Seasons Pharmacy and Culinaria sell cannot be found anywhere else in the region, making perfect sense to sell these online to customers near and far.
As part of the promotion strategy, the Transformation Team created templates using MailChimp to allow Seasons staff to easily share new recipes, blogs and products with their customer base. On average, their emails have an average of a 40-50 percent open rate compared to the industry average of 23 percent.
Rachelle had the following to say about the Transformation Team program, “It [the program] really allowed us to complete the work we had always intended to with respect to our website. A great website is much more difficult to accomplish than it looks. We would not have this wonderful of a result if left to our own resources.”
Since completing the program, Rachelle consistently writes more content for the website and builds their email newsletter list. “Not everyone is on social media, so having multiple ways to reach people has been very important. We still meet people every day who say they have been “following us,” and yet today is the very first day they step inside.”
Learn more about Seasons Pharmacy and Culinaria here.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
A $7.45 million from the Province of Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Northern Ontario.