By Craig Marx, Editor
New herbal and aromatherapy options await Antigonians as Mortar & Pestle opened its doors this past week, where owner Kelly Keyser-Millar brings her passion of phytotherapy to a city she has always loved.
Originally from Green Bay, Keyser-Millar has been in the Antigo area for three years now after falling in love with the area since she was young. As her family owned a cabin in Eagle River, Keyser-Millar says that reaching Antigo was always a joy and marked the beginning of the Northwoods experience. Years later, the young 43-year old herbalist has put her passion of both Langlade County and her new business into her Fifth Avenue storefront.
“I always wanted to start my own business and I just know there is so much potential in downtown Antigo,” Keyser-Millar said. “After doing research about the demographics of the area, I decided to strike while the irons were hot and open this store after the great response I received at the farmer’s markets.”
As Keyser-Millar started her herbalist career making products for friends and family, Mortar & Pestle can trace its local beginnings to the Antigo Farmer’s Market where Keyser-Millar started the business on a bi-monthly bases serving attendees of the popular open-air marketplace. Providing her homemade salves, oils and other medicinal herbal offerings to the public, Keyser-Millar gained a customer base at the market that inspired her to open her full-time store at its current location.
The enthusiastic owner has taken her 15 years of practice and study and made her expertise available for Antigo to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. Providing a science-driven approach to a field that many are uninformed about, Keyser-Millar is passionate about working with her customers to not only meet their medical needs and work within their current prescriptions and prognosis but also aid her clientele in eliminating misconceptions associated with herbal medicine.
Everything Mortar & Pestle has to offer is homemade, including salves, aroma balls, herbal vinegars, oils, and cough syrups that will prove to be most useful in the coming winter months. Working in small batches, Keyser-Millar is passionate about providing the best herbal services for her customers.
As the owners remodeled the interior initially, Mortar & Pestle offers a fresh and modern feel that is inviting and warm. Featuring a full apothecary counter and new counters displaying the store’s many herbal options, Keyser-Millar says her husband and mother have helped immensely in making her dream store come true. Taking advantage of an entrepreneur grant from the Langlade County Economic Development Corporation, Mortar & Pestle is another modern addition to a downtown that has the potential to be revitalized.
“I just encourage people to come down and help take control of their health holistically – mind, body and spirit. We are open to anyone and I am happy to be part of shopping locally in Antigo,” Keyser-Millar said.
Mortar & Pestle is active on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/mortarandpestleherbal/) and on Instagram, as well as their website (mortarandpestleherbal.com). The store itself is located at 715 Fifth Ave in downtown Antigo, half a block west of the Hwy 45 intersection, and is open Tuesday through Friday 11 AM to 6 PM and Saturday 9 AM to 1 PM. Keyser-Millar encourages feedback about new business and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.