Meet our People: Stuart Kwan, Astrid’s Head of Procurement

Stuart is Astrid’s Head of Procurement where he is responsible for managing commercial relationships, supply chain, inventory and products that support Astrid’s daily operations.

He oversees vital aspects of Astrid’s day-to-day functioning, including managing business partnerships, optimising the supply chain and maintaining inventory.

At the start of his career, Stuart had several years of experience in the export trade sector. Stu began his journey with Astrid in January 2023, where he was struck by Astrid’s unwavering dedication to values and ensuring quality patient care. He found Astrid’s commitment to ethical practices and prioritising patient well-being commendable, which spurred him to join the team. Inspired by Astrid’s mission, Stu enthusiastically embraced his role and sought to make a positive impact within the organisation.

Despite his remarkable accomplishments, Stuart remains a picture of tranquillity and humility, and his positive presence at Astrid is truly cherished.

Stuart’s determination and passion for the plant industry inspires us every day.

We admire his calm, can-do and quiet-achieving attitude towards all things thrown at him. 

Learn more about Stuart and his role below. 

What is your role at Astrid? Can you describe a typical day?

I mostly work from our Melbourne HQ and my days consist of sourcing and communicating with our product suppliers. I am responsible for all products that we offer and dispense at Astrid. I’m also responsible for ensuring our suppliers comply with Astrid’s legal and company policies. 

I dedicate three days of the week towards meetings with suppliers, procurement, checking in at the dispensary, any process improvements and ad hoc requests. The remaining two days of the week I work on business development, reports and administration tasks. 

What do you love about your role?

I always look forward to working at Astrid each day as it provides me with an opportunity to network with all of our suppliers and create long-term business relationships.

There are hundreds of brands and products within our industry and for our patients. It’s a privilege to be able to connect with our suppliers and source the best products for Australians. 

At Astrid, we aim to only work with the best brands and cultivars who are dedicated to creating superior products for our patients. 

Within our dispensaries, it’s been fun to help source more lifestyle products like vaporisers, skincare, supplements, candles, and exclusive Astrid products. I help source all our Astrid merch – clothing, hats, and (recently by popular demand) Jibz too. 

Why did you want to work with Astrid?

For me, it’s all about the work culture. For most of my professional career, I’ve been a part of startup teams and I like working in fast-paced environments. Astrid has been the epitome of fast-paced supporting Australians since 2020 and the Australian industry is still evolving since the law changes in 2016. Within this industry, there are always product updates, new suppliers and changes to rules that keep me engaged with my work. I knew this role would be a good challenge for me to try to find the best quality and natural products for Astrid’s patients and customers. 

What do you like about the Astrid team and culture?

I admire the Astrid team’s unity and accountability. Each and every one of our team members’ work really hard to deliver the best experience for our patients. Each of us takes ownership of our work, and at the same time supports one another. I like to compare us to an NFL team – everyone’s a star performer, we’ve got great coaches to support us and we’re here to play a big game.

Stuart with the Astrid team at Astrid Byron Bay

What do you think people need to know about the natural therapies industry?

I think Australians should know that the industry is still in the early stages – especially in comparison to overseas markets. Patients need to find individual care that works for them and that there is a wide range of clinics and dispensaries now. I love working at Astrid because we’ve always been dedicated to doing the best for our patients. 

Because the Australian market is still in the early stages, we’re still developing the long-term frameworks and regulation for the industry to be sustainable. I’ve been grateful for Astrid to be able to support progress in Australia through real stories and advocacy as we have a specific role on our team dedicated to advocacy, patient stories and providing feedback to  the relevant regulatory bodies. And we’ve got a long way to go. 

Have you faced any stigma from working with cannabis?

In 2020, when I first entered the industry, my mum was unaware of the law changes for medical use in Australia. So when I shared that I landed a new role in this new industry, my mum mistakenly believed that I had started a new career dealing in illegal substances. When in reality, I was joining the healthcare industry. 

What do you hope for the future of natural therapies?

I would love to see natural therapies be perceived as a first line treatment rather than an alternative option. At Astrid, I’m always on the lookout for the most natural, often plant-based, and nourishing products available. It’s fantastic to see more brands pop-up with those values too.  

How does Astrid support you, your work-life balance, and your overall well-being?

Astrid provides me with all the support and tools that I need to carry out my tasks effectively. The management team, Lisa and Hansen, are always approachable, available, and very supportive. They have a great way of empowering their team to take ownership of tasks and support me to find the best natural therapy products for our patients. Our monthly team bonding over Korean BBQ is also a highlight. 

How do you stay up to date with the latest industry updates as well as the product or supplier updates?

I aim to stay up to date with the latest developments and updates by attending industry events and speaking with our current and potential new suppliers regularly. I love hearing feedback from patients about products they’ve tried, they’ve got benefit from, or that they didn’t like. So I also try to speak with as many patients as possible and also use review sites. 

Complete our Questionnaire to find out if you’re eligible for natural medicine with Astrid Clinic: astrid.health/astrid-clinic-services


A Year of Growth and Connection: Astrid Dispensary Byron Bay’s One Year Anniversary

The Astrid team have been reflecting on the transformative year since early 2023 when we  unveiled our second Astrid Dispensary, this time in the heart of Byron Bay. Our first year in Byron has been filled with growth, innovation and strong community engagement. 

The Astrid journey began in the challenging times of 2020, amidst Melbourne’s lockdowns, with the opening of our first dispensary in South Yarra, Melbourne. Fast forward to 2023 when we launched our Byron Bay location to completely reimagine the pharmacy experience. 

Nestled within the innovative shared space of Habitat Collective, the Astrid Byron Bay Dispensary stands as a calming green pharmacy infused with warmth, connection, and nature.

Celebrate with us as we mark a year of transformative health and wellness at Astrid Dispensary Byron Bay.

Designing A Peaceful Sanctuary Byron Dispensary Space 

The location was crafted by the visionary Barbara Chung from Alte Studio. 

As the rugged yet refined sibling of its Melbourne store, Astrid Dispensary Byron Bay offers a tranquil space formed by gentle curves that are grounded by linear lines to enable the seamless interaction between pharmacist and patient. 

Our aim with the design was to welcome patients into a space of tranquillity, reflecting Byron itself, offering a comforting sense of serenity and human connection. Fluid curves and clean lines encourage in-depth personal consultations between pharmacists and patients, ensuring each visit is both rejuvenating and enlightening.

The design of the space was to bridge communities whilst encapsulating Byron Bay’s history and its sweeping natural landscapes of its hinterland. The walls are lined with lush foliage draping over deep walnut timbers. A moss coated wall evokes fond memories of long winding drives through the Hinterland, paying respect to those who came before us. 

The space is expanded by mirrors lining the back wall, attracting natural light, and reflecting the outdoor garden greenery, emulating an alluringly vast forest. These design elements act in unison as an extract of nature itself by accentuating its textures, greenery and Astrid’s love of all things natural. 

The thoughtful design pays tribute to the natural environment, the community’s heritage, and Astrid’s forward-looking philosophy. 

Recognised for its distinctive design and patient-focused ethos, Astrid Byron Bay was honoured as a finalist for Best Retail Design at the Australian Design Review IDEA in 2023, a testament to our innovative approach to healthcare.

Launching Astrid Byron Bay Dispensary 

At the launch of Astrid Byron Bay in 2023, we celebrated with an insightful discussion from thought leaders where we addressed pivotal patient and industry challenges. This gathering underscored our commitment to not only serve but also to spark meaningful conversations within the wellness community.

In our first year, Astrid Byron Bay has flourished into a cherished wellness hub, offering a serene retreat where individuals embark on their healing journeys with natural therapies and plant-based lifestyle and skincare products. 

Our mission to increase education and advocacy around cannabinoid medicines has deepened our community ties and propelled our vision forward both in Byron Bay and across Australia. 

The Byron Bay location is the perfect place for patients to visit us, take a moment to learn about wellness and support their own healthcare journey.

The Future of Astrid across Australia

The Astrid Dispensaries will always transcend the traditional pharmacy model, embodying a movement towards sophistication, modernity, and transformative healthcare. Astrid aims to provide a truly elevated experience at each of our dispensaries.  

Founded by Lisa Nguyen, a trailblazer in plant-based medicine, Astrid Byron Bay mirrors our ethos, creating a sanctuary where healing, education, and nature intertwine. In 2024, we’re working towards launching our third dispensary location in Australia. 

Looking ahead, we are excited to continue our journey in Byron Bay, steadfast in our commitment to revolutionise the pharmacy experience, champion natural medicine, and support our community’s wellness journey. 

We invite you to explore the Astrid difference within Habitat, Byron Bay, and join us in celebrating a milestone year of health, innovation, and community.

Our heartfelt gratitude extends to our patients, team, and community for an incredible year of shared growth and healing. 

Here’s to forging ahead with innovation, healing, and expansion.

When you’re in Byron, come visit the Astrid team at Suites 57-58/1 Porter St, Byron Bay NSW 2481. 


Astrid’s Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

6 Heartwarming Gift Ideas to Surprise Your Valentine

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we’ve got a list of the perfect gifts to shower your loved one with affection. Astrid has you covered! 

At Astrid, we support patients with natural medicine journeys and we provide a range of wellness products including natural skincare, lifestyle essentials, supplements, and exclusive Astrid merch. 

With February 14th on the horizon, let’s dive into a bouquet of gifts that bloom with health and wellness.

Both in-store and via phone, Astrid offers a variety of gifts tailored to those who value the connection between love and wellbeing. 

Below we’ve handpicked a selection of seven gifts that your loved one will appreciate as they nurture the body and heart. 

All gifts can be purchased in-store at Astrid Byron Bay or Astrid South Yarra, via phone (03) 9077 2446 or Instagram DM @astrid.dispensary

1. Astrid Ceramic Herb Grinder

A grinder is often the first tool acquired by many people accessing medicinal flowers. 

Astrid created a grinder that delivers a consistent and smooth grind, enhancing the natural flavours and aromas of your dry flower. Its sleek and compact design ensures it’s a perfect fit for use both home and on-the-go. 

In our signature green and smooth design, the Astrid grinder makes every session a luxurious experience.

We’ve had feedback from some of our patients that it’s the best grinder they’ve ever used!

2. Storz & Bickel Vapormed – Mighty Medic & Volcano Vaporisers 

If your partner uses natural medicines and doesn’t have a vaporiser yet, this could be the perfect Valentine’s gift for them.

Designed for precision, performance, and medical-grade reliability, the Storz & Bickel vaporisers are world-renowned and offer unparalleled efficiency and a pure, clean vaporising experience. 

The Mighty Medic is Australia’s first portable medical vaporiser included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG 319028). 

Astrid proudly offers not just the Storz & Bickel Mighty Medic, but also its upgraded version, the Mighty Medic Plus, along with the iconic Storz & Bickel Volcano desktop device.

With its rechargeable battery, the Mighty Medic is portable which allows the freedom to administer your dose with love and precision wherever you go. 

Meanwhile, the Volcano, a masterpiece designed to stay at home as a desktop device, heats your flower with a blend of convection and conduction, ensuring a rich and clean vapour experience. Its innovative balloon system captures vapour for later, offering a perfect blend of dosage control and convenience.

Please note: This device is intended only for vaporisation of medicinal cannabis flowers, as prescribed by your doctor, for your medical condition.

3. Astrid Beanie 

Wrap your loved one in the warmth and style of Astrid’s exclusive apparel. 

Crafted for comfort and a snug fit that promises to stay put throughout the day, these Beanies are more than just a winter accessory; they’re a statement of belonging. 

Designed in the chic fisherman style with a cuffed hem, our Beanies strike the perfect balance between trendy and timeless. 

They feature a midweight design complemented by a wide, ribbed knit, ensuring both warmth and comfort during the chillier days. 

What sets our Beanies apart is the signature Astrid green colour—a nod to our brand’s identity and a vibrant addition to any outfit. Whether you’re out on a casual walk or meeting friends, our Beanie adds a touch of something special, making it the perfect accessory for those who appreciate style and substance. 

Woven from 100% acrylic, our beanies are designed with durability and comfort in mind with our one-size-fits-most sizing. Let the Astrid beanie be a reminder of your care and affection, keeping your loved ones cosy and stylish on cold days.

4. Weed is a Flower Book 

Step into a world where nature’s artistry meets mindful appreciation with “A Weed is a Flower,” a mesmerising 168-page hardcover photo book. This volume is a tribute to the natural allure of the cannabis plant, presented through enchanting floral arrangements that will captivate your senses.

This collection brings together breathtaking photographs from the pages of Broccoli Magazine, curated from the works of over 25 creative photographers and floral artists from around the globe.

The book’s captivating images showcase the charm and versatility of the plant, capturing its essence and reflecting the myriad reasons we’re drawn to it: its inherent beauty, the tranquillity it offers, the joy and amusement it brings, and its unique ability to transport us to a state of blissful escapism.

The title of Broccoli’s latest masterpiece, “A Weed is a Flower,” is inspired by a poignant quote from poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox in 1911: “A weed is but an unloved flower.” This title encapsulates the book’s essence, challenging perceptions and inviting readers to see the flower in a new light. The publication aims to shift perspectives and shine a new light on the plant, celebrating its role not merely as a plant but as a cherished part of the natural world.

The book is an invitation to explore the multifaceted personality of natural medicines, celebrating its place not just in our lives but in the broader tapestry of nature. 

This book is a substantial, tactile experience, perfect for gifting or displaying on a coffee table. 

5. Bloom Effects – The Royal Tulip Nectar

Discover the petal-powered magic of Bloom Effects, a skincare line we absolutely love. At the heart of this women-led beacon of innovation in skincare, is a deep reverence for the humble tulip bulb, which inspires their entire product range. Embracing the clean beauty ethos, Bloom Effects champions ethically-sourced, cruelty-free formulations, meticulously crafted to pamper your skin while protecting our planet.

The Bloom Effects Royal Tulip Nectar is a transformative ointment-to-serum hydrator that envelops your skin in layers of lush moisture. Infused with their exclusive Dutch Tulip Complex and a blend of earth-derived botanicals, it’s a concoction that calms, nourishes, and fortifies your skin’s barrier with every application.

It contains Bloom Effect’s proprietary Dutch Tulip Complex, as well as a variety of earth-sourced botanicals, which work together to soothe, nourish, and repair your skin’s barrier. 

You can apply it anywhere your skin needs extra care to get the benefits of this hydrator. Try it as a moisturising sleep mask—you’ll wake up with skin fit for a queen.

6. Posie Candles

A candle is a much loved gift, and it’s no different for those who visit the Astrid Dispensary. Patients love coming into Astrid in Melbourne and Byron to smell what candle we’re burning each day. 

Astrid stocks a range of Posie candles that have an enchanting fragrance. Whether your preference leans towards the refreshing essence of floral bouquets, the zest of fruity notes, or the grounding aroma of woody scents, we have something to enchant every nose.

Crafted from 100% natural soy wax, each candle is nestled within a striking amber glass jar, sealed with an elegant aluminium screw top lid, ensuring the fragrance remains as fresh as nature intended. 

The ingredients include 100% natural soy wax with a blend of premium grade, phthalate-free fragrance oils, essential oils, and a natural fibre waxed cotton wick that promises a clean, enduring burn.

Proudly handmade in Australia, Posie’s soy candles represent the pinnacle of sustainable luxury. They’re not just candles; they’re an experience, making them the perfect sensory Valentine’s Day present for someone special. 

Choose Wellness Presents that Suits your Partner

As Valentine’s Day approaches, remember that meaningful gifts are those that touch the heart and nurture the well-being of your significant other.

At Astrid in Melbourne and Byron, we’ve carefully selected a range of products that promise not just to delight but to offer a shared experience of wellness and love – and we ship all around Australia. 

Whether you’re well-versed in the world of natural remedies or just beginning to explore their myriad benefits, our dedicated team stands ready to assist you in choosing the perfect gift.

Make this Valentine’s Day a memorable fusion of love and health. Reach out to us now to find the ideal present that encapsulates both care and joy.

Love is in the air, and wellness is at your fingertips with Astrid. 

Contact us now to make your purchase and give the gift of health and happiness this Valentine’s Day.