The Ultimate User's Guide to Your Body.
It was out of this sense of history and mission that Qaiyum and his son Anthony founded Smallflower.com in 1998. They saw the need for an expanded vision of health on the Internet.
Our challenge here at Smallflower is to meld the Old World approach and knowledge of Merz Apothecary with the New World technology of the Web without losing the vision and character that make Merz special. We're quite proud of the path we've taken so far. When you shop at Smallflower you can be confident that you're dealing with a staff that has intimate knowledge of the products and deals with in-the-flesh customers every day. They're listening closely to what people want and that knowledge directly shapes the information and product selection on the web site.
Our view is that your health is too important to take chances with. We believe that you're better off with a product selection that has been carefully honed over more than a century. We believe you'll be healthier if you use the finest products from around the world; products which promote external as well as internal health and mental as well as physical well being. And finally, we are sure you'll be better served by a staff that has 124 years of accumulated experience and constant interaction with people in need of help. Our goal is still the same as it was on opening day in 1875: to provide the best service and products to help our customers lead happier, healthier lives. If that seems a bit grand, it's not. It's only what you deserve.
In 1875, Peter Merz, a Chicago pharmacist, opened Merz Apothecary on the city's north side. In a way, it was not much different than the other corner drugstores which existed in every American neighborhood and town at the time. It was a place to fill prescriptions and, more important, it was a source of information and remedies for common ailments. The pharmacists were consulted like family doctors and they would hand-mix formulas for each customer's specific conditions and problems.
However, there was a major difference between Merz's store and a typical drugstore. The clientele at his shop consisted mainly of European immigrants from the surrounding neighborhood. For that reason, and because Merz was of Swiss descent, he decided to call the store an "apothecary" in the European tradition. Like his overseas counterparts, he focused heavily on herbal medicines and traditional formulas, which were already popular and familiar among his international customers.
Although Merz Apothecary was a humble store, it served as a gathering place for the community to which it catered. Comfortable leather chairs allowed patrons to sit and chat as they waited for their prescriptions to be filled or their remedies to be prepared. Merz and his pharmacists spoke many languages allowing customers to shop and seek advice in their native tongues. It wasn't long before the store's reputation spread.
Over the next 85 years the business continued to grow and the store was passed on. First, to Merz's son, Lee, and later to Lee's sons, Ralph, Melvin, and Earl. The store continued to retain its international focus and developed a loyal following among Europeans throughout the Midwest.
Smallflower.com, user's guide to your body.