Sweet Hollow herbs closes

A local wellness center, Sweet Hollow Herbs, closed its doors Feb. 29 after more than three years in business. The store was a community resource not only for customers, but for new, local product introductions, herbal formulations, classes and presentations, workshops, and therapy appointments. It also served as a networking resource for local business interests.

Wellness and Alternative Medicine students from JSC interned with owner Amy Kelly, a graduate. Students learned about managing an herb shop and understanding how to teach people about herbs, supplements and wellness. “She invited alternative medical professionals into her shop to offer massage, Reiki and nutrition and wellness workshops,” Professor of Behavioral Sciences Susan Green said, adding that the store was “so much in the spirit of what we do in the WAM program—inviting both college and community members into discussion and learning opportunities for new ways to heal disease and live well.”

Sweet Hollow Herbs not only survived the serious financial downturns of the last couple of years but managed to grow business by incredible percentages according to Kelly. “At least that was the case until July of 2011 when the [Johnson] Main Street construction project made it nearly impossible for downtown businesses to operate,” she said. “As a result, store sales dropped 52 percent. Talk about frightening. When comparing year-over-year results for the month of July, we could clearly see that sales were going up dramatically, and then plummeted to below the first July that the store was open for business. Since construction began, projected sales goals were destroyed.”

According to Green, Kelly embodies the spirit of curiosity, choosing to see an uncertain future with excitement instead of fear. “When her store had to close due to the lengthy construction that hurt her business, she responded to this loss with the same spirit of adventure that originally led her to start Sweet Hollow Herbs,” Green said. “She said she would deeply miss her work at Sweet Hollow Herbs and hoped someone else would carry on its work.”

Practitioners who worked out of the shop are also reluctant to see it go and are actively searching for someone to continue the work Kelly started.

According to Green whatever Kelly decides to do in the future will be something that will make the community a better place to live. “I might bet some organic veggies and some very good dark chocolate that Amy will become a horse whisperer,” she said. “We will all miss her presence at Sweet Hollow Herbs in Johnson.”