Tonawanda News

Features

December 16, 2013

North Tonawanda shop sells organic herbs, spices, teas

Tonawanda News — Polly Gillebaard and Mary Kunkel said that since they opened their new store, Herbal Traditions — an herb and spice shop — Nov. 7, they’ve had a few people wander in, wondering if they’ll be selling sausages.

The store, which is situated right around the North Tonawanda and Wheatfield border on Shawnee Road, specializes in bulk spices, herbs and teas, and just about anything you could think of that would be made with such products, including bath salts, lip balms and other body care products.

It might seem a little funny that some customers expected to purchase a hunk of sausage at the shop, but Kunkel explained the location is the site of the former Shawnee Meat Market, where her father and grandfather used to work before it closed down within the last decade.

While her lineage may indicate an interest in pork and beef, Kunkel said she and Gillebaard are much more interested in organic, whole foods and how such items can have a healing effect on the body. 

”Our friendship started around healthy products,” Kunkel said of her five-year friendship with Gillebaard.

The two met through a homeschooling group and quickly realized they shared a common interest in the way certain herbs and teas can heal the body.

Gillebaard found that drinking teas made from barley green, for example, and eliminating the chemicals found in certain household products, like laundry detergent, helped her ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Similarly, Kunkel wanted to find natural ways to handle a thyroid problem that didn’t involve radioactively killing the gland that was causing her so many problems.

”I wanted to try everything else before they killed part of my body,” Kunkel said, adding that she tried to eat as organically as possible to held treat the condition. “My thyroid condition went away and never came back.”

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