Southern Healing & Good Karma

by | Jul 2022

THE ORIGIN story of Manchester’s Southern Healing Farmacy and Good Karma Cafe is as fast as it is wild. “It was totally one of those God moments. Basically, I rode by a hemp field on a Sunday, and by Monday morning I was walking in my storefront saying I was going to grow hemp.” Owner Wendy Barton is a general contractor by trade. She had a general contracting store downtown on Spring Street called Southern Home Enterprises (S.H.E.), where she operated as a floor covering dealer since 2008. On a whim and what feels like overnight, Barton transitioned her storefront from an upscale flooring company to a health and wellness store bubbling over with hospitality. 

Barton shared, “Because it’s quite costly, I knew I couldn’t afford to grow the hemp, so I decided to open up a CBD store in the back room of my building to fund my grow. Within three months, the CBD store outgrew the space.” Barton shared that as much as she wanted to take credit for the rapid growth of the business, she couldn’t. Barton shared, “It kind of evolved itself. Or rather, the community evolved the store.” She and her daughter, Lu, shared that their aim for the store was to be the furthest thing from a classic head shop. They did not want to simply sell a bottle of oil and send people on their way. They desire to educate customers and understand their needs on a deeper level. Lu explained, “We sit and talk forever. It’s a long process. We like to know what medications you’re on, how you’re feeling, and any other relevant details of your story, to make appropriate suggestions or recommendations.” Sometimes those conversations were a couple of hours long, forcing staff and visitors alike to look around for a place to sit to continue the conversation. A warm relational atmosphere only continued to grow within the store’s walls. 

After many long conversations, the women heard customers ask for drinks or small snacks. Being the hospitable women they are, baked goods and some simple drink options were added to the store for purchase. And it didn’t stop there. Soon, people were asking about coffees, teas, and more substantial food options. Wendy shared a story about stopping at the store on her way home from the grocery store. She carried with her a few items inside her grocery bags and made herself a simple meal there in the corner. Quickly, a man asked if he could have whatever it was she made. Wendy obliged. By the afternoon, Wendy had to go to the grocery store again because she had sold all of her own groceries! In short, Good Karma Cafe was born. If you were to visit the business today, you could walk in the front door and experience that same kind of hospitality that says, “if we don’t have it, we can get it.” 

Southern Healing and Good Karma are located at 120 North Spring Street in Manchester. The space is filled with local artisan art, soaps, and gifts. The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch. There are a ton of round tables and chairs beckoning weary visitors to sit down and relax. Free wifi is available for anyone working, studying, or doing homework. You can even reserve a small meeting room upon request! Come visit Manchester’s fastest-growing social hub and wellness store. GN

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