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Local Business Spotlight: Health Freedom in Berlin, MD

This week on Local Business Spotlight, we checked out a great business on Main Street in Berlin, right across from our office. Health Freedom. 

Health Freedom is a natural medicine store that offers a variety of bulk herbs, tinctures, topicals, oils, vitamins, supplements, and more.

Their new location is beautiful and a cozy spot to stop in and have some tea or coffee as well! 

We sat down with Erin Bilenki from Health Freedom to get the details on their new location and vision for the spot! 

Back in 2019, Erin started Health Freedom as an urban supplement shop, selling Bok teas, honey, and all-natural remedies. Very quickly, she realized that she was ready to grow the business to make more homemade products, make elixirs, and syrups, but without a kitchen, it made it very hard. So, when the spot at 7 South Main Street opened, they jumped on it. 

Now, Health Freedom has the opportunity to grow into an apothecary cafe. The main goal for the company is to make a lot of products with herbs and different functional mushrooms and even some hemp and cannabis products that you can come eat, drink, relax, and do things in a community atmosphere and wellness being like the focus. 

As a specialty business, Health Freedom enjoys a good following, not just locally but from afar.  Year after year, you’ll have the couple from Pennsylvania that comes every July the certain week, and they’ll come in and they’ll grab their vitamin C and whatever supplements. Right now, it’s more about getting the word out to broaden its audience.  

Why Move to the New Location?

The location that Health Freedom is in now is about 1,000 square feet and the old location was probably half of that. The old location provided them with a wonderful experience, but the new one gives them a proper heating system and the right bathroom. Erin felt that it was also great meeting the new neighbors. 

Health Freedom offers a great spot with a casual setting where people can come in, sit down and enjoy coffee and shop. 

Goal in the Future

Health Freedom’s goal in January is to get a beer/wine license. Currently, the shop is already serving hot drinks like chai, herbal tea, coffee, cold drinks, coconut water, and kombucha. 

In January, the shop is going to get the beer and wine license and some different cool infusions such as a wine infused with an herb. Health Freedom will also have some organic beers and stuff like beer and wine but kind of a healthy approach. 

Other plans include incorporating some of the things they sell like a matcha chia with lion’s mane mushroom and make things like plant-based appetizers. 

The aim is to basically just grow and provide a place that people with a spot that is not just your typical burger and crab cake establishment.  It’s for people who sometimes feel like they need a wellness boost and enjoy some good music. It will be a place with a social atmosphere and a spot to host different book clubs or social events. 

Erin is doing exactly what she’s always wanted to do, meshing natural remedies with the service industry and being in a place that she enjoys. 

Advice for People Looking for an Herb or Supplement

Health Freedom is all about holistic approaches to wellness and does not claim to cure or treat anything. The shop, for instance, can suggest things that work for other people. 

Probably the number one concern or complaint that people have is having trouble sleeping and getting a good night’s sleep. There are lots of different pieces to the puzzle there. A lot of times, they don’t even sell people products, but instead, tell them things that they should maybe eliminate from their diet or lifestyle that will help them sleep.  

Some products that are really popular for sleep would definitely be full-spectrum CBD oil. It seems like taking that before bed every night can really help you relax, just relieves tension, and helps you get into a good, long sleep. 

For some people, CBD oil may not be quite strong enough. They might even go with a THC product. Right now, we are selling THC because it is processed through hemp, and it is it’s legal under the 2018 farm bill. We have gummies with THC in them and different other supplements. 

We always counsel people before we would sell a product like this and let them know the potential of feeling intoxicated, and if you’ve never done it before, to really titrate your way up because it can be a little bit much for some people. 

There are also other supplements like magnesium, and herbs like Kava and Valerian that help people relax, and there are different price points. Here, people want to spend 10 bucks and hope that it will work, but if you’re talking about being on sleeping pills chronically and wanting to get off of them and try the natural approach, it’s going to probably be a little bit more of an investment. 

Iron Skillet Coffee

As for coffee, Health Freedom has teamed up with Iron Skillet Coffee, which is a Berlin local roaster known for roasting his coffee on an iron skillet. The place is getting all of its beans from Iron Skillet exclusively and it’s doing iron skillet coffee by the cup now. 

Hours of Operation

Health Freedom is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays. 

Once the business gets food and that beer/wine license, it will probably shoot for February to stay open until 8 p.m. during the week and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

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