Local entrepreneur opens bath and body products retail shop in downtown Marine City

Jackie Morren, second from left, marks the grand opening of The Apothecary with the Marine City Chamber of Commerce.
Jackie Morren is doubling down on Marine City. Morren, the owner of gifts and more store Good Natured Gardens, recently celebrated the grand opening of a second downtown store, The Apothecary. One grew out of the other, yet each has a personality of its own.

The Apothecary celebrated its grand opening on Saturday, Feb. 24, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Marine City Chamber of Commerce, an appearance from Heather Rosencrantz of Dirty Girls Farms, and more. With her second store, Morren continues to help shape the retail scene in downtown Marine City.

"Downtown has just about everything you'd look for but still keeps a small town feel. It's very unique that way," Morren says. "We're on Water Street, flanked by a historic church and the beach, with a gorgeous view of the river."

Specializing in bath and body products, The Apothecary shares a building with a number of other businesses, including her first store, Good Natured Gardens. In fact, The Apothecary grew out of her original business. Morren started carrying a limited selection of bath and body products there, before deciding to expand those offerings and open a dedicated separate shop.

While Good Natured Gardens focuses on products from Michigan and Canadian artists and artisans, The Apothecary widens its scope to national and even international products. Morren carries products from Oprah's Favorite Things lists, private label soaps from places like Portugal and France, and other items like stationary and gifts.

Morren says that come summer, she'll expand hours and maybe add more staff. She's also thinking about hosting educational events for the more exotic products that people have questions about.

"The space is smaller than Good Natured Gardens. Small and cozy," says Morren. "It's a lot of fun to do something different."

Morren got her start with Good Natured Gardens not in Marine City, but from her home in China Township. Experimenting with growing vegetables and making soap, she began taking her products to local farmers markets around 2005. She noticed that a lot of artists and other vendors would stop selling their wares once the market and arts and crafts show seasons ended, so she opened her first storefront in Marine City on Broadway Street in 2012. After a fire destroyed that building, Morren moved to her current location on Water Street in 2016.

She sees her stores as pieces of a larger puzzle. There are a lot of reasons to shop in Marine City, she says, like Marine City Music & Collectibles and The Sweet Tooth. And there are theaters, restaurants, and nightlife, and big development projects like the Inn on Water Street, too. Marine City may be small, but it's got a lot going for it.

"Unlike Grand Rapids-sized cities that have official development plans, it seems to me that it's more individuals leading the way here; individuals that are committed to the city that are solid business people who have invested in Marine City," Morren says.

"And it's worked very well."

The Apothecary is located at 312 S. Water St., Suite 5, in downtown Marine City.

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