About Our Roots
The Root Cellar first opened its doors in 1972 in downtown Charlottetown and quickly became known as THE source for health foods and health-related products on Prince Edward Island.
One of the Root Cellar’s loyal customers, Janice, often took her daughter, Kali Simmonds, along on her shopping trips. Kali developed an appreciation for the importance of taking a natural and holistic approach to health and wellness, thanks to her mother’s forward-thinking perspective and frequent visits to The Root Cellar.
Kali ultimately chose to become a Naturopathic Doctor and after a year practicing in Ontario, she felt the pull to come home to her island.
Serendipitously, The Root Cellar came up for sale that same year (1999). Kali took the leap and bought the well-established health food shop. She then established her naturopathic clinic on the 2nd floor of the building, making it convenient for patients to fill their prescriptions downstairs in the shop.
For many years, The Root Cellar had been the only health food store on PEI. Shortly after Kali purchased the store, the landscape changed significantly. Several large chain grocery stores began offering many of the same natural products at lower prices. In order to not just survive, but also thrive, Kali knew that The Root Cellar needed to revamp its identity. It could no longer be ‘just’ a health food store.
This transition was difficult but necessary and ultimately led to us finding our niche as a holistic health-focused shop that is committed to providing exceptional customer service through education.
Kali's sister, Nara, is also a familiar face at The Root Cellar and worked in the shop since her days as a science student at the University of Prince Edward Island. Her exposure to naturopathic medicine through Kali and the many patients visiting the Root Cellar inspired her to become a naturopathic doctor herself. Yes, that’s right, two Naturopathic Doctors in one family - maybe it’s a genetic predisposition!
The Root Cellar Today
Fast forward to today and Kali remains in her role as owner of the Root Cellar, while both she and Nara continue in their practices.
The sisters continue to play an integral role in product selection for the store, ensuring that the supplements and other products you find in-store and online are best suited to serve the health needs of their patients and the Root Cellar’s customers.
The shop’s greatest strength has always been our team of knowledgeable and approachable staff. Everyone on our staff embraces a natural, health-focused lifestyle in a manner that suits their personality and interests, whether that be through teaching yoga in the community, following a plant-based diet, or running marathons between pregnancies! No matter who you interact with when you visit us or give us a call, you can be assured that our staff is committed to your best health, not selling you on a trendy diet or supplements that won’t help you.
Tate is the store manager and responsible for day-to-day management of the store. Our Assistant Manager, Jeannie, takes care of most orders while, Joanne, Kristen, Jenn, and Melissa wear many hats, not least of which is helping our valued customers find the best health products for their needs.