Tea shop in Glendale offers a more holistic form of medicine

GLENDALE, Ariz. -Small and local businesses have been brought into a new spotlight; showing not only the struggle of families trying to stay in business, but their communities trying to support them. Some businesses, like Tangled Roots Botanical in Glendale, have been fortunate enough to retain steady business and have even gained new customers.

At the start of the pandemic, like many other local businesses, they were struggling during the complete shutdown. Despite the brief period of not making any money, however, shop owner Merihelan Nunez said that they still managed to break even in 2020 and are already doing better in 2021. They are currently having a hard time keeping common things like chamomile and rose petals in stock as more people are turning to a more natural form of everyday health care. She said she feels that it took a pandemic for a lot of people to really look at their daily habits and want to improve them.

Nunez and her husband own and run the shop along with three employees. The shop has been officially running for six years, but Nunez says it is something that has been in operation for almost ten years, starting from her laundry room.

“If it’s something that you are passionate about and you can’t live without doing, then you’ll succeed in this endeavor, that’s what I believe,” Nunez said on the topic of others who are trying to start their own business. “It is many years that you’re working towards something and it takes a while to get recognition from the community, it takes a while for people to know where you’re at and what you do. So, if you’re in it forever and committed to your craft, stick with it, it will pay off. Even if it takes five to ten years, you’ll eventually get back everything you put into it.”

Many small business owners, including Nunez and her husband, would agree that biggest obstacle about being an owner is the money. It took the couple years of working multiple jobs while continuing to build their business on the side. They started making real income, or just as important, recognition, after years of working out of their home and selling to vendors

Tangled Roots Botanicals is located at 5731 W. Glendale Ave. They specialize in organic apothecary and medicinal herbs by trying to support people in their health and wellness journey in a more natural way. They have a tea bar for mixing homemade herbal formulas and a section of retail products like face care products, bath salts, and essential oils.

“At first, I just had to check out the tea, which is amazing, by the way. But there just aren’t a lot of places near where I live to find the fancier loose herbs, so this place is my go-to now. It’s just so cute and has such good vibes,” said Astar Braughton, a freshman at Glendale Community College, and a regular at the shop.

Nunez has been interested in holistic therapies since she was a kid. There was no access to anything like that near Maryville, the area she grew up in, and she’d often have to go the East Valley to find supplies and classes. She now has a degree in Western herbalism and holistic nutrition, though she says formal education was just the tip of the iceberg in comparison to what she’s learned through practice and experience.

“I believe that people in the west valley deserve to have something like this here and accessible to them so that they have help to support their own health and wellness. It’s important, and without this they’d have to travel to other areas of the valley, and sometimes they don’t even know that that exists.” Nunez said.

The Glendale community certainly show its appreciation for Tangled Roots Botanicals despite the lack of accessibility in the West Valley. Among happy regulars and an increasing number of new customers, Nunez will remain the self-proclaimed “mad plant lady” for quite a while.