Delaware’s only herbal apothecary honored with Veteran-Owned Business of the Year award

Cindy Collins of Harrington, the maven behind Euphoric Herbals Apothecary in Milford, is a one-of-a-kind success story with a similarly unique award to celebrate her accomplishments.

She has nearly a decade of crafting her business under her belt, taking it from a hobby to a sustainable retail location with employees of her own.

She smiles when she talks about her husband and three children.

And she is a United States veteran, having served four years at the Air Force base in Dover as an informational manager after growing up in the San Francisco Bay area of California.

Although still in its first year at its location along route 14 in Milford, Euphoric Herbals Apothecary has now surpassed Ms. Collins’ personal goals, and local leaders are taking notice at her successes in the community.

“We have customers travelling from all over Delaware and surrounding states. Every day it’s someone new who has never been there before,” she said. “Moving to Milford and opening a retail store has really expanded our customer base. . . It’s been a great experience. I had a six-month goal, and I hit that at three months. I said, ‘Well, maybe I set myself short.’ I wasn’t expecting that. It’s totally sustainable.”

Ms. Collins, also, wasn’t expecting a visit from someone who asked if she could nominate the entrepreneur for a state-wide award that would have her visiting with Senator Tom Carper and attending an awards dinner with Governor John Carney.

In April, she was honored with that award, the 2019 Veteran-Owned Business of the Year, by the United States Small Business Association’s Delaware office.

“What makes SBA’s Small Business Awards Program shine is that it is a national awards program spotlighting America’s Main Streets,” SBA Delaware Director John Fleming said. “Small business is the ‘engine of our nation’s economy,’ as we are so often reminded. But our small business community is so much more than that. It is a fundamental part of the core of our character as a nation. Small businesses shape the character of America’s Main Streets. They are often what make ‘home,’ ‘home.’ SBA’s Delaware Small Business Awards Program celebrates the small businesses that make our state ‘uniquely Delaware.’”

Euphoric Herbals Apothecary fit the bill and is currently the only herbal apothecary in Delaware.

“One of my sons asked me if I liked my job, or my businesses. I said it’s a lot of work, but I love it. I wouldn’t do anything else. There are no rules telling me how I have to run my business. I can make the decisions myself,” she said.

Owning her own business has afforded her the opportunity to listen to the needs of her customers more carefully, she added, something she has done from the beginning of her business. With her customers’ needs in mind, she can tailor the products at Euphoric Herbals Apothecary to the needs of the community.

Ms. Collins first started out carrying herbal salves and jewelry on an online platform around 2009. She sold things she liked to create, she told The Chronicle in an interview in 2017.

She also spent time as a photographer and doula, or a professional trained in childbirth support.

Her business focus started to change when she made her first lactation blend in 2010, she said during that interview, shifting from hobbies to more of the products her consumers needed at the time — herbals.

The demand grew so much that she built a warehouse next to her own house to expand her business. She quickly grew out of that location and opened her Milford store where she can now carries even more products.

“One of the things I was not considering selling when I opened was cannabis oil. But, after a couple of weeks, people started asking for it. So, I knew I had to research for a good brand, and that’s one of our main selling items now. We sell a whole bunch of stuff, but that’s one of the main things now. I had a customer who took two Fentanyl patches [and pills] a day. Now, because of CBD, she’s only on one pill a day now. She could have easily overdosed on all of these pills. It forced me to learn a lot about the cannabis plant and continual education for the community,” she said confidently.

In the coming years, Ms. Collins said she hopes to open a classroom at her retail location in Milford for events and workshops. She also wants to open a second location in New Castle County and consider exporting products to Canada

Continual learning, Ms. Collins explained, is something every future entrepreneur should be willing to do to grow their business in a positive direction.

“I would encourage them just to start, really. And that they’re going to make mistakes. They have to be open to making mistakes, and they have to be open to learning. They’re not going to get it right, and they have to be okay with that. We can’t control everything either. I’m okay with making mistakes,” she said.

“One thing I really love about having a business is I love having people to work with and having the autonomy of being a business owner, but also creating jobs. You’re coming in to start a company, the world is your oyster. Think about it small, but where could you be in two years, five years… Where do you want to grow with your company?”

Euphoric Herbals Apothecary can be found online at www.delawareapothecary.com or at Ms. Collins’ Milford location at 621 North DuPont Blvd. Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Her products can also be found online at www.euphoricherbals.com.

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