What I might impart, as an apothecary of some minor note, is that poisons are rather rare. Certainly I have seen about 5 uses of the assassin level poisons in 6 events, and a handful of venom on at Anvil from players. Mileage will always vary.
If you are on the battle themselves, you will see far more chances to cure poison, especially if it is vs the Druj. However, Physicks can cure poison on hand with just one herb, where as your cure poison takes two; you will find that generally there are mages and Physicks on hand to deal with poison.
If you search for The Anvil Hospital online/on the wiki, you will find that there is a group of healers who offer a lot of services which they can afford as a group and with some Senatorial funding, to provide things that make the individual hard pressed to match.
By virtue of being an apothecary and getting involved, I find a fair amount of call for helping people or selling minor potions, but I’ve become a combat character after 4 events of non-com, so see far more involvement now. There is plenty of roleplay options, but not really much for a business due to the above comments and how Physicks are usually on hand and far more efficient than a potion (a bleeding man cannot drink a potion himself, after all!) From a mechanical standpoint, my character is horrifically weak and gets very little use out of his 7 points toward Apothecary, but even with that every much in mind, I have a brilliant time and love the character himself~ Always aim to enjoy yourself rather than care about the mechanics of it. Best lesson to teach your kids too; play for the role~
To talk about game:
You are after roleplay opportunity, go for it without question. 100% each time~ Just enjoy the concept don’t mind the results. The most important thing is bringing something with character to the field, and even if you end up faced with people who refuse to pay more than the herbs are worth for a potion; giving them a chance to haggle or know you as “them potion traders” will give you reputation, game, and fun for the both of you. I never care if my herbs sell for more than my potions, because the fact is those herbs have still been turned into money =D The only problem I have ever faced is, quite simply, that if a group has an apothecary or knows a friendly nationer with one of my recipies, I can’t get anything done there unless it is an emergency.
Your kids get the Apprentice skill; so they can use any skill that someone is willing to supervise and teach them on. So sure, they can just sell and trade and get to know people/get known, but if they are explicitly interested in anything in the game, there’s always people who can show them aspects of it. Perhaps you might consider picking up a recipe that increases the power of a Night Ritualist, and in return for producing them your kids get to assist in a ritual. If I have Rank 1 in Night, I can actually roleplay training one of your kids to do the spell and they can be treated as Rank 1 Night and cast the spell on my behalf; or if an Artificer was bonding someone to a Weapon, they could show one of the kids how to do it, and have them do the actual Bonding by virtue of the Apprentice skill. There’s always a chance to explore other aspects of the game, even if you spend all 8 of your points only on Apothecary (without even touching Physick!)
Or you know… start a spate of poisoning, or discredit the hospital, or any other number of things that might improve your business prospects~