You can get your meds and shop for locally grown food at a new pharmacy in Sudbury

These two women have decades of pharmaceutical experience under their belts. But they also know a lot about how food can heal you. That is why they've opened up a full service pharmacy that also includes locally grown food and a teaching kitchen.

'A good solution to the world's problem of obesity and chronic disease,' says pharmacist Rachelle Rocha

Laurie Pennell and Rochelle Rocha have opened up a new model of pharmacy which integrates healthy eating into the equation. (Jan Lakes/CBC)

Two Sudbury women who have decades of pharmaceutical experience under their belts also know a lot about how food can heal. That is why they've opened up a full service pharmacy that also includes locally grown food and a teaching kitchen.

It is called Season's Pharmacy and Culinaria.

Rachelle Rocha and Laurie Pennell want people to walk in, get their medications and then start asking questions about what else is happening in the store.

Rocha says clients will see things such as a baskets of produce, a fridge and freezer full of meat and dairy.

"We're a full service pharmacy. We'll do everything from flu shots to making sure you get the right medication every month," she said. "But our front store is really featured around food, so that word culinaria is all things related to the kitchen."

The pharmacy will source food from local producers. (Jan Lakes/CBC)

She says she wants to be able to use the pharmacy as a way to have a teachable moment.

"If we look at metabolic disease which manifests itself as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, dementia, depression. Many of our chronic illnesses, if you eat better and move your body more you would have less severe disease or in fact you could prevent disease." 

Laurie Pennell says she's on her own health journey and looks forward to sharing it with others.

"I live by example. I've done a lot of this myself. After a particular conference we went to, after listening to a lot of the things that Rachelle has taught me. I can say it made a difference and if I feel better I want other people to help feel better the same way I do," she said.

"We're all on a bit of a different journey, but knowing it can change one thing at a time. And I did it. If I can do it anybody can do it."

The store will also offer workshops in their full teaching kitchen. (Jan Lakes/CBC)

Rocha says everyday they will make something for lunch in their kitchen that they will share with their customers.

"And what we hope to do is feature local foods and ingredients and teach people how to cook in here. So when they come in it's going to obviously look very different than any other pharmacy that that you've been in."

They both hope that they can help change people's lives with this way of approaching health.

"When you've had a heart attack and you come into the pharmacy with six brand new medications and now you've had that scare and now you might be going 'Oh my doctor has been telling me or my wife's been telling me or my daughter's been telling me that I need to eat better' pharmacists have a lot of skills in their toolbox for education."

The meat is carefully selected from the region and has to have had a natural diet and exposure to the sun. (CBC Jan Lakes)


Jan Lakes


Jan Lakes is a producer at CBC Sudbury. You can reach her at or find her on Twitter @lakesCBC.


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