Stories


If you know Ellen and Michael, you know how much they love our community. The food at The Cellar is made with locally-sourced, organic ingredients whenever possible. No one loves browsing the outdoor Corning Farmer’s Market quite like Michael!

Recently, The Cellar kitchen began saving their avocado pits for Bespoke Apothecary, a family-run, organic permaculture farm in the Elmira area. I reached out to April when they tagged The Cellar in an instagram story post because I had no idea this partnership had even formed! When I explored the Bespoke instagram and website, it seemed like a perfect fit as far as small business partnerships go.

“After winning a fully holistic and natural cancer battle (saying no to double mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and hormone therapy) – and changing every detail of my life to switch to a fully chemical-free household – it was very difficult to trust that products stating they are natural, really were,” April Hart, Bespoke Apothecary co-owner wrote. “I was buying high-end, expensive natural and organic face care products that upon research had known carcinogens as ingredients! So I took matters into my own hands and we started to make our own products about three years ago. And as we perfected our formulas, we shared them with others, and low and behold people started to love them! So, we started a small online shop and kept developing products.”

“We have been making a super moisturizing yet gently exfoliating scrub with organic avocado pits from our kitchen for the past year,” April wrote, when I asked about the avo pits our kitchen staff is saving specifically for Bespoke use. “This became such a popular product that we had to try and source pits locally. We have always loved and admired not only the amazingly divine menu at The Cellar but also their community-loving spirit and sustainable practices, as well as the fact that they source locally whenever possible. And when I saw they are using fresh, organic avocados, I had to ask if they would be willing to save us their pits! Ellen and Michael immediately – and excitedly – agreed!”

As a big fan of avocados, I found April’s explanation of how the Avo Scrub is made especially interesting: “Avocado seeds are rich in essential fatty acids, and are a phenomenal moisturizer and skin healer/soother. They can help with serious dermatitis or scarring! We wash them [the pits], and then slowly dehydrate them. After they are dry, we grind them smooth in a commercial herb grinder. We then add our handmade – and grown – Calendula jojoba oil, rose witch hazel, vitamin E oil, and raw honey to make this unbelievable face scrub!”

If you’re wondering where you can buy Bespoke products locally, don’t worry; I asked for you! Retail locations include: Tesorina Boutique in Binghamton, Seneca Sunrise Coffee in Watkins Glen, and both Chamberlain Acres Garden Center AND Healing Arts Chiropractic in Elmira. Coming soon: both Stillman’s Florist and Sladies Den in Montour Falls, Green Star in Ithaca, Market Street Healing Arts in Corning, and Bells Coffee in Elmira Heights. You can of course order from Bespoke Apothecary online 24/7, but isn’t it so much nicer to walk in to a local small business and buy products made by another local small business?