New natural health center opens in Middlebury’s Star Mill building

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury’s growing cadre of natural health care services has taken on some additional luster this summer with creation of the Riverside Natural Health Center (RNHC) in the Star Mill building in Frog Hollow.
The new center features four practitioners who had either been consulting or practicing in tighter quarters. Members of the RNHC include Shere Family Acupuncture, led by Nieve Shere; her twin sister, Chenoa Hamilton, operator of Jumelles, focusing on wellness, midwifery and acupuncture; Middlebury Massage therapist Stephanie Powers; and Dr. Matthew Perchemlides of Specialized Natural Health Care.
Shere, Hamilton and Powers had been working out of an office space above Clementine at 58 Main St. They enjoyed the high-profile location, but space was lacking, according to Shere. They looked around, and saw the approximately 1,100-square-foot vacancy at 5 Park St. that formerly housed such tenants as Middlebury Mountaineer and Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, among others. The space is still in the downtown, though in a quieter spot than Main Street, they noted. There’s also the Otter Creek Falls nearby and the neighboring Junebug store that attracts a lot of pass-by traffic.
“We needed to have a space to house our vision, and we found it,” Shere said.
The three associates asked Perchemlides to share in their dream. Hamilton had served as midwife for the birth of the Perchemlides’ most recent child. Perchemlides is a specialist in naturopathic oncology and integrative medicine, and also consults on the integration of hospital and community-based oncology care centers. He and his family moved to the Middlebury area around two years ago. He has been doing consulting from his home — one of the few in his profession not to be based out of a hospital — and relished the opportunity of having a central office space. The RNHC collaboration made sense to him.
Perchemlides said he is excited about the opportunities to collaborate with his new colleagues on some cases.
“Hopefully, this turns into a collaborative process more than just people (working out of) the same spot,” he said.
Powers moved to the area two years ago after attending Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. She has been practicing massage therapy for around 15 years, previously in Portsmouth, N.H.
Hamilton has been a midwife for almost 10 years, eight of them spent in the Middlebury area.
Shere moved to Vermont almost three years ago and has been practicing acupuncture for almost six years. She left a very successful practice in Manhattan, N.Y., to join her sister Chenoa in Middlebury. She is pleased to be involved in the new wellness center, which fortunately did not require a lot of renovations prior to occupancy. The offices were already in place and Hamilton’s husband built a reception desk that may soon have a receptionist to help with administrative chores.
The RNHC has been up and running for two months, but will hold its grand opening this Friday, Oct. 3, from 4 to 7 p.m. at its 5 Park St. address in the Star Mill building. The event will offer an opportunity to meet the practitioners, witness acupuncture and massage demonstrations, receive product samples, and participate in drawings for complimentary services and products.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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