When the Elephant Pharmacy first opened, a lot of us wondered how it was going to stay in business. A pharmacy that promised to combine the best of both Western and alternative medicine sounded like a promising concept, but it wasn’t at all obvious how management might pull it off. Of course, with the success of companies such as Reel.com and Hungry Minds behind him, founder Stuart Skorman had a better chance than most. And since the store has opened, Skorman and his colleagues haven’t managed to disappoint. Elephant Pharmacy is perhaps the world’s only store where you might go to get a bottle of Tylenol, organic grapes, some biodegradable diapers, a consultation with an herbalist, and a new-release DVD all in the same shopping trip. To put your mind at ease with your consumer self, end your trip with a chair massage on the way out. Elephant Pharmacy offers a multitude of free classes each week on subjects such as body rolling and dream interpretation. Its photo processing department delivers dependable service at a solid price, and employees are genuinely interested in helping customers. One year into the experiment, it looks like the birth of a whole new retail niche.
3251 Lakeshore Ave., Oakland, 510-419-0677