Meet Shawn Burke at Nature’s Apothecary

Meet Shawn Burke at Nature’s Apothecary

There are multiple reasons why entrepreneurs choose downtown Ithaca as the place to own a business. Some of them are natives who simply wanted to stay here because of their longstanding ties in the community while others came here to attend college and fell in love with the upbeat city. For pharmacist Shawn Burke, it was the city’s people and natural charm that won him over.

Burke hails from Auburn, NY and earned a doctorate in pharmacy from the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, but he spent a significant amount of time in Ithaca over the years while playing in an amateur ice hockey league and as a floating pharmacist for a major retailer.  

“During those visits, the open-minded, forward-thinking community members, multi types of businesses, and the gorgeous scenery drew me to Ithaca,” says Burke.

When it came time for Burke to start a career, he says compounding was his calling, and that Ithaca, because of its receptive residents and need for an alternative medicine resource, was the place to offer his holistic pharmaceutical services.

In 2015, Burke opened Nature’s Apothecary at a spot on Route 13 in the city of Ithaca. He operated the drug store at that place for a year; however, limited foot traffic at that spot lead him to look for other locations to house his business. He found a vacancy on S. Cayuga Street in downtown Ithaca and relocated Nature’s Apothecary there last year.  

“The downtown location is a perfect spot for my business. Being able to talk to people from all walks of life is one of the most enjoyable aspects of working downtown. Hearing the history they share, and listening to their opinions and views have helped me become acquainted with the community and has since reassured me that I belong here,” says Burke. 

Nature’s Apothecary is a specialty compounding pharmacy that creates tailor-made medications that are not available commercially.

“Compounding pharmacist are considered problem solvers in the healthcare industry because we can make the impossible possible for a patient to improve their quality of life. One major area that only compounding pharmacies can dispense is bio-identical hormone replacement therapy which helps aging men and women feel young again. This is due to my specialized training and tools such as a double HEPA filter powder hood I use to prevents myself from breathing in something such as a female hormone while creating the medication. People may also seek a compounding pharmacy for pain management. I have the ability to create different forms of a medication such as a pain cream that may include something for the pain and inflammation, incorporating agents that will help ease muscle tightness, spasms, nerve pain, and even numbing the area. I can customize pet medications, too. There are plenty of options I have at my disposal and the list goes on,” says Burke.  

In addition to creating custom medications, Nature’s Apothecary sells high-quality, self-care products such as essential oils, supplements, organic skin care, and CBD/hemp oil, which Burke tries before he purchases them for his drug store.

“I want to make sure I carry the very best self-care products at Nature’s Apothecary. It’s always been important to me that I offer the best services and products to my customers,” says Burke.

When Burke isn’t working, he’s usually attending a concert or music festival.

“Everyone has their addiction and mine is music. Once I settle in, I want to learn how to play music and maybe even write my own. I’m fascinated with the creative talent many musicians display when they are performing. Plus, creating music goes with my life’s theme of creating something for others enjoyment and benefit,” says Burke.

To learn more about Shawn Burke and Nature’s Apothecary, visit the drug store at 115 S Cayuga St., between Hawi Ethiopian Cuisine and the Christian Science Reading Room, in downtown Ithaca. Nature’s Apothecary is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

The Faces of Downtown Ithaca

Some say the best referrals come from trusted family and friends. In Downtown Ithaca, quality recommendations often come from speaking directly to our hospitable downtown business owners and managers. Afterall, who knows their business best than the business owner themselves.

Welcome to Faces of Downtown Ithaca where we’ll give you an insider’s look at downtown’s shops, let you meet your shopkeepers, and restaurateurs who provide this area with some of the finest shopping, dining, and attractions that the Finger Lakes Region has to offer.

Not only do these folks work here, but they also dine, shop, and play here. Many of them also live here, too! This is their Downtown Ithaca and now, they are sharing some of their histories with you.