By Jeff Kronenfeld / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ
(Oracle, AZ) The Ravens’ Rooste, a metaphysical and wellness store, held its grand opening in Oracle on Wednesday, June 13. The event coincided with the Oracle Farmers Market at Sue and Jerry’s Trading Post, also located at the Ranch Store Center.
Despite the threatening grey clouds, a steady stream of congratulatory neighbors and curious customers poured through the bright, cozy shop.
Inside, a smiling Suzanne Torres, owner of the Ravens’ Rooste, welcomed the shoppers to peruse the essential oils, books, incense, candles, crystals, CDs, wooden flutes, and other goods.
Out front, musician Kevin Torres, Suzanne’s husband, and their small rescue dog Sahara greeted visitors, who were offered champagne and cookies to celebrate the occasion.
For Suzanne Torres, launching the business culminates decades of work, study, and exploration.
“I started my spiritual quest back on Long Island, where I'm from, in the mid-90s,” Torres said. “With learning about Reiki, essential oils, and healing energy work, I started teaching a lot of different classes, and eventually, I moved here to Arizona.”
Torres lived in Sedona for several years, once dreaming of opening her shop there. However, things never quite aligned in the city’s saturated metaphysical and wellness space.
Then, two years ago, Suzanne and Kevin Torres moved to Oracle, a small but welcoming community.
Right place, right time
Perched at over 4,500 feet in elevation, the town of Oracle has seen highs and lows throughout its long, storied history.
Once the residence of Western impresario William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the community faced clouds more ominous than any thunderhead when the San Manuel Mine shut in 1999.
Sue Parra remembers those dark days, having lived in Oracle since 1970. The miner's daughter married a local man named Jerry Parra, whose metal art decorates the Ranch Store Center. They opened their eponymous trading post in 1985
Selling what Sue Parra coyly calls junk, their store survived the mine’s closing. Eight years ago, it became the home of the Oracle Farmers Market. Now the trading post acts like a nurse tree for a small but growing ecosystem of businesses, like Zanny’s Upstairs, Country Chic Design, and a boutique operated by the nearby Life Under the Oaks Lavender Farm.
Parra still remembers when Suzanne and Kevin Torres first arrived two years ago.
“When they moved here from Sedona, they came in the store, and immediately we clicked,” Parra said.
When the newcomers pitched the idea of building a shop where a pair of old pickup trucks sat collecting rust, it was an easy yes. Kevin and Suzanne's son constructed and finished the small building in a few months. It combines a modern interior with a rustic exterior, which fits well with its eclectic neighbors.
Suzanne Torres found Oracle was the right place for her to establish Raven’s Rooste because it combined the friendly ambiance of a small town with some of her previous home’s more ethereal qualities.
“Sedona is very well known for its energy sites, and its vortex sites, and there are actually similar sites here in Oracle,” Suzanne Torres said.
Ravens’ Rooste sells many products meant to aid those seeking to relax or explore.
Bath salts and aromatic sprays made from locally grown lavender share a corner with a kid's section, including coloring books, dream catchers, and small fairy doors, like the one installed next to the store's main entrance.
On a nearby table, stones rest in neat cubbies marked with handmade informational cards.
Next to these sit shelves packed with books on numerology, crystals, yoga, self-improvement, and a range of spiritual practices. Among these titles are two written by the store owner herself, “Basic Steps to Law of Attraction” and “Journey to Now.”
Many items throughout the store have a deeply personal connection to the author and storeowner. For example, she stocks a CD collecting her husband’s indigenous flute music. Not far off hang necklaces made by her nephew through marriage, David Sereda.
In time, Suzanne Torres plans to start holding a range of events, including a Sunday meditation. She also intends to conduct Reiki sessions and classes on that and other topics like aromatherapy.
“People need to heal,” Suzanne Torres said. “People need to have questions answered, and we want to be a haven for that.”
Ravens’ Roost will be open Thursday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., plus on Wednesdays from 6 pm to 9 pm for the Oracle Farmers Market.