Strange Magic

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A picture of the outside of the Vudu Shop

By Paige Turner

“You’re sailing softly through the sun
In a broken stone age dawn
You fly so high”

I have a confession to make. I believe after hearing it, you will find my admission anticlimactic. Such is life.

My confession? It’s simple. I’m an addict. I am addicted to featuring businesses in Hathian and uncovering what makes them unique. It’s as if, all those little dots on the map of shops and restaurants are treasure chests of culture, and I am the one who is discovering them all. It’s as though Hathian is an onion, and with each feature article of a new subject, I peel a layer away. Did I miss my calling in the culinary arts?

This article’s feature will be on Vudu Spice. Vudu Spice is owned by Eva Kaufman. Shae, one of the store’s managers, was kind enough to sit down with me for the interview. Located behind the Asylum Arcade, and HCS, one knows they are alive and doing well from blocks away. When the smell of meat hits a citizen’s senses, they at least know Vudu Spice is doing it’s thing. Shae was quick to point out:

“Something that seperates us would probably be our grill an’ table set up outside. Every morning it’s fired up and fresh meats an’ such are prepared an’ tended too throughout the day. Many of the people here have come by an’ praised our cooking but what sets us as different is that the food is free. Anyone is welcome an’ they kin take as much as they need”

Shae; a manager at Vudu Spice

The Tangibles

Vudu Spice has shelves and counters full of whatever one with a taste for “The spiritual” needs. Shae follows: “We supply various books, crystals, herbs, candles, incense an anything else that maybe needed for ones practice or spiritual work. Other specialized services can include tarot readings, apothecary work and Eva is a voodoo priestess.” While I myself am unfamiliar with such wares, the assortment is impressive. Not only is it plentiful, but each item is meticulously placed as if there for a reason.

The intangibles

But Vudu Spice does not stop at having proper merchandise. As I mentioned before, there is a culture there that fills the air like smoke during a fire. Talking about the approach the establishment takes with the people who happen by, Shae goes on: “Most people are scare to come inside the store but quite happy to be outside. It gives them time to ask questions and such, put there mind at ease.”

When asked how she deals with being the face of the franchise, she continues: “Well as the manager, I’d say being approachable and patient with people is important. Many shy away from what they don’t understand, which is perfectly natural. So my job becomes putting them at ease. Also, doing the best I can to fulfill my customers needs.”

“You’re walking meadows in my mind
Making waves across my time
Oh no, oh no”

And if anyone needs more proof that Vudu Spice is the real deal, consider what Shae marks as her favorite memory from working there: “That should have to be that I found my family here” before finishing through a wistful smile “This his been my home now since I first arrived.” Is any other evidence needed beyond such a lovely lady calling the place home?

As with most articles featuring Hathian, I try to experience whatever the business or hot spot is offering. I like to give a view from the customer point of view. So, of course, I couldn’t resist doing a tarot card reading with my interview subject Shae. Lets just say, I left with more questions than I began with, which is exactly what tells me, it was real. It’s never clear when you peer into the universe’s viewpoint on yourself.

Whether it be for the free meat, a reading or some supplies, feel free to stop by Vudu Spice and see for yourself what you think. And if you run into me, feel free to give me your perspective on things. Or, maybe I see you there.

The inside of Vudu Spice
The inside of Vudu Spice (Photo by Daiyu Tang)
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