Finlandia celebrates its 35th anniversary
Things were hopping at Finlandia Natural Pharmacy & Health Centre on Friday (August 28) as the staff celebrated the store’s 35th birthday.
At different times during the day, there were yoga sessions, a violinist, and a live band on-site.
I dropped by in the afternoon to say hello to the owner, Harlan Lahti, only to discover that he was in South Dakota celebrating the 50th anniversary of his high school graduation.
Later in the day, I hooked up on the phone with Lahti, who explained that he had to make a decision whether to see his old friends or attend the party at 1111 West Broadway. Fortunately, his wife Beth, their kids, and the purchasing manager, Markus Guggenberger, were able to keep everyone happy.
Lahti, a former resident pharmacist at Vancouver General Hospital, has created a unique pharmacy and health-care service centre, which blends European and North American approaches. It offers breast thermography, hormone restoration, its own line of vitamins, naturopathic services, detoxification, and brain training.
“It seems the brain is linked to everything,” Lahti said. “All illnesses are affected through the brains and the emotions. If we can start right there and fix that, we’ve fixed a lot of problems without too many complications.”
In recent years, Harlan and Beth Lahti have become increasingly interested in the functioning of the brain. Earlier this year, they opened a Brain State Conditioning centre across the street from Finlandia in the building at the corner of Spruce Street and West Broadway.
This form of brain training involves getting hooked to an electroencephalograph, which tracks the brain waves. A computer program converts these waves into audible sounds, which are fed back to the person.
During the 35th birthday celebrations, Beth Lahti told me that she visited Scottsdale, Arizona and met Lee Gerdes, who pioneered this approach. She’s now a brain-training technician.
She attributed the success of the store to her husband’s passion for helping people make educated decisions about their health. “I do quite a bit of the hiring,” she said. “I really look for compassionate, caring people. You can’t teach that.”