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Balance just right . . . Elly Toft at the Oamaru Apothecary. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The former commercial film producer has opened the Oamaru Apothecary, a place where people can seek health advice and see Ms Toft as a naturopath or medical herbalist.

She and her partner first came to Oamaru in the early 2000s before moving to Auckland and then returning last year.

“We love North Otago.

“The sense of community and the beauty of the surrounding landscape … it’s where we want to live, and the sort of work I do ultimately benefits the community as I am helping people improve their health.”

Her motivation for opening the Oamaru Apothecary was to have a mechanism to share her knowledge.

“I have a full herbal dispensary.

“They can pop into the apothecary and pick up a medicinal herbal tea, tonic or balm.”

She said she was already picking up referrals and business was “brilliant”.

“I’m thrilled with the response. People have come in and generally loved the space.”