Eco Pioneer ‘elephant pharmacy’ files for bankruptcy; Berkeley, San Rafael & Walnut Creek stores close.

Via on Feb 3, 2009


Interesting new post here on business model.

I heard the news today oh boy…about an unlucky small green pharmacy chain that made waves in wellness and was a model of successful LOHAS business for six years before, suddenly, announcing it was closing its doors. Moral of the story? In tough economic times, while yoga classes may be selling out across the nation, and solar and wind continue to expand mightily thanks in part to anticipation of a green jobs push via the Obama Administration, we conscious consumers have to take care to protect those companies that are trying to walk the talk. So spend your hard-earned dollars carefully—not only for your own satisfaction, but try and always keep the good of our big bluegreen planet and all the people on it in mind.

More news here:

Elephant Pharmacy, which once promised to become the Whole Foods of pharmacies, has gone out of business.

The Berkeley-based retailer has filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy and has already closed its three stores in Berkeley, San Rafael and Walnut Creek. No details were available on when or how the six-year-old company planned to liquidate its inventories, but at the Walnut Creek store, many products have been out of stock for some time.

Kathi Lentzsch, Elephant’s CEO, said in a statement that the company had failed in an effort to raise capital and was left with no other option than to file for bankruptcy. In September 2008, the company closed its Los Altos location and reduced its corporate staff in a cost-cutting measure that could not save the company.

The company employed 190 in its three stores and main office.

The three closed stores were at 1607 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley, 909 Grand Ave. in San Rafael and 1388 South California Blvd. in Walnut Creek and averaged 12,000 square feet..

From elephant pharmacy’s web site:


February 3, 2009

It is with a heavy heart that we post this notice: Elephant Pharm, which has served over 1 million customers in four Bay Area markets, has closed indefinitely. As a small business, we’ve been hurt by the terrible turn the economy has taken and the tightening of the credit market. It’s been a very special six years since we started this drugstore revolution, and we certainly couldn’t have made it as far as we did without you—our customers.

We hope that you will continue your pursuit of a good, long life, well lived. 

Press Release;


February 3, 2009

Elephant Pharm (–the revolutionary one-stop health and

wellness retailer with stores in Berkeley, San Rafael and Walnut Creek–

announced today that it has closed all of its stores and will seek liquidation under

chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

Elephant Pharm CEO, Kathi Lentzsch said, “The company has been burdened

with obligations that were quite difficult for a company of our size to carry. The

current management team and board of directors worked diligently to grow the

company to a size that could bear these obligations, but due to the current

economic conditions and the tightening of the credit market, it has not been

possible to raise the capital required to continue the business.”

Over the past twelve months, while Elephant Pharm was in continuous

discussions with potential investors, the Company cut costs significantly, closing

its Los Altos location and downsizing the corporate staff. In spite of these efforts,

the Company was ultimately unable to meet its mounting obligations and

regretfully had no choice but to close it stores.

“We are extremely proud of our team and what we were able to accomplish in the

6 years since we opened. We would like to thank our vendors and our very loyal

customers for their support over the years.” Lentzsch said. “Elephant has been

both a leader in its industry as well as a reflection of a greater societal movement

for healthy change.”

Elephant Pharm employed 190 people across its three stores and at the Home


Additional details are available at





Elephant Pharm is now closed and will seek liquidation under chapter 7 of the

United States Bankruptcy Code.

It’s been a very special six years since we started this drugstore revolution, and

we certainly couldn’t have made it as far as we did without you. We hope that

you will continue your pursuit of a good, long life, well lived.

Q. How do I get/transfer my prescriptions to another pharmacy?

A. Please contact your doctor.

Q. What if my prescription was requested but not picked up?

A. Please contact your doctor for any re-fills.

Q. What happens to my gift cards?

A. We are sorry they are no longer valid. Please be sure to file a priority claim in

our bankruptcy case for any amount left on your card. (A link for this form will be

available soon.)

Q. What happens to my Elephant & Friends rewards coupons?

A. We regret that they are no longer valid.

Q. Are all your store locations closing?

A. Yes, Berkeley, San Rafael and Walnut Creek.

Q. What if I need to return something?

A. We are sorry, no returns will be accepted.

Q. When is the last day of classes?

A. February 2nd was the last day of classes.

Q: How do I contact teachers, practitioners or the massage company?

A: Please contact them directly. The massage company in San Rafael was Body

Wise. In Berkeley and Walnut Creek it was Ahhh Massage.


If this is an emergency, please call 911. To have your prescription filled, or re-filled, please contact your doctor. We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause you.




About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | | | | | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom


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