Who is Dr. Neal?
Dr. Neal Smoller is a holistic pharmacist, supplement expert, and founder of Village Apothecary.
Dr. Neal’s mission is to challenge the natural products industry, redefining holistic care and setting the standard for supplement quality.
His methods and products are backed by real science, and with them, he builds and supports his customers’ lifelong wellness strategies.
Dr. Neal’s Story
Dr. Neal started out working in his hometown family-owned pharmacy, Beadle’s Pharmacy in Saugerties, NY when he was just 14 years old. His love for the profession was born, and he became hyper-focused on becoming a pharmacist like his mentors.
Pharmacists were trusted members of the community then, with deep connections to their patients, expansive knowledge, with a unique skill of making complex topics like medicine understandable.
After graduating and trying pretty much every aspect of pharmacy out, he decided he is most at home in an independent pharmacy.
He opened Village Apothecary in Saugerties with his original mentor, Beadle’s Pharmacy pharmacist Peter Gage.
Pharmacy, though, had become a medicine-pushing machine. People were relying heavily on medicines when they could be using preventive options instead.
The alternative was to use supplements instead. This created a little conflict initially for Dr. Neal. Pharmacists weren’t trained in natural options, as supplements and alternative medicine were not entirely respected by the conventional practitioners who taught him. One professor even said, “Supplements are to sell, not to take.”
This didn’t sit right with him. Despite criticizing natural options, no one in medicine, it seemed, prioritized healthy lifestyle choices in practice—it was only paid lip service. Because of his experience as a clinical and consultant pharmacist, he knew medicines aren’t the be-all and end-all, and in fact, are sometimes overused.
Dr. Neal saw people were getting great results with supplements.
There was an opportunity for a new path towards health in the community pharmacy. This new path requires a more reduced reliance on conventional medicine and the best real science around supplements to actively prevent disease when possible.
Dr. Neal started asking tough questions. What was in these supplements? How were they made? What does the science look like? Can he look people in the eyes and tell them the supplement product he recommends is authentic and right for them?
The answers were not reassuring.
With more questions and more overturned stones came more shock about just how big of a gap there is between the supplements people take and the wellness experience they think they’re getting.
Dr. Neal then decided to bring the best parts of pharmacy to the natural products space, asking tough questions about the products and science, and setting a new standard for supplement quality and holistic care.
The Holistic Standard
Over the past decade, Dr. Neal has refined his approach and his model. He’s developed the Holistic Standard, which redefines holistic care as the science-backed pursuit of healthy goals using lifestyle, natural products, and conventional medicine. No one piece takes precedence; each builds upon the other and all three are necessary.
The Holistic Standard relies on quality supplements, and Dr. Neal has created a model to also redefine supplement quality.
Quality is a marketing term for most brands. At best, they’re legally compliant with their manufacturing of the product (but even this proves rare at times!). Dr. Neal believes quality is more than manufacturing or legal compliance. Supplement quality also involves science—what dose, form, and general therapeutics are needed—as well as the ethics and morals of the company and their practices.
The manufacturing practices, therapeutics, and ethics together make the Supplement Quality Standard a model to evaluate the true quality of a supplement product.
Dr. Neal’s Projects
Dr. Neal is a busy guy. Besides founding Woodstock Vitamins and developing the Holistic Standard and the Supplement Quality Standard, Neal still owns and manages his pharmacy, Village Apothecary in Woodstock, NY.
He also founded Supplement School, an online education platform teaching people how to build a sustainable wellness practice with their expertise in the center.
Dr. Neal writes all of the content for our blog, regularly creates webinars and videos, and hosts the successful wellness podcast, The Big Mouth Pharmacist.
His biggest project is the pursuit of raising the bar in the natural products industry. He seeks to be a consumer advocate first, ensuring customers are getting the optimal wellness experience. He advocates for the supplement industry and hopes for its success.
Through his efforts, Dr. Neal is building an army of customers and healthcare practitioners that demand more transparency and higher standards in supplements, so we can all confidently walk a new path of holistic care, together.
Dr. Neal’s Wellness Projects
Go big or go home. That seems to be Dr. Neal’s motto professionally and personally.
Neal and his wife Erin had triplets back in November 2009. Ava, Liv, and Rowan. They joined Neal and Erin at his grand opening of Village Apothecary in Woodstock:
A bunch of businesses and 3 kids isn’t enough it seems, so they added Arya to the mix in 2013.
Here’s the whole family:
When you support Dr. Neal’s mission and his businesses, you’re not supporting some faceless big corporation. You’re supporting a big family. A big family of Smollers, a big family of employees, and a big Woodstock family.
Follow Dr. Neal on Facebook and Instagram for pictures of the family with some supplement advice thrown in there.