The Witch's Garden: Mom-and-Pop Store Cleanses the Spirit, Offers Satanic Tomes
Historically speaking, Marizel Almirall was not the first adolescent to ever feel "different." Nor did she pioneer the concept of the black-clad teenage outcast.
Armando and Marziel Almirall run a mom and pop store called The Witch's Garden in Hialeah.
But the South Beach-native might be the only person in the world who can say she tattooed a large upside-down cross on herself at age 13 in tribute to Satan.
"I'm very hardcore," she says.
The 34-year-old and her husband, Armando, are the owners of the Witch's Garden, a magick shoppe in Hialeah that caters to people who identify as witches. The two favor the term "witch" because they don't dig the organized religion of Wicca. Neither of them wear pointed hats or navigate South Florida by broom -- both have long, black curls and drive around their two young daughters in a silver minivan with a bumper sticker that reads "Life's a Witch and Then You Fly."
And they're not alone. The Almiralls are among the more than 400 people who belong to a Meetup group for South Florida witches, and the group is gearing up for for Broward's 13th annual Pagan Pride Day. The event, which will feature belly dancing, drum circles and meditation, will be on Saturday from noon until 7 p.m at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale.
The Witch's Garden is the store that serves this community. Tucked away on the fourth floor of a giant rainbow-colored complex off of West 12th Avenue, it draws no foot traffic. Sales come from a loyal customer base that's been gaining in numbers since 2004, when the couple started their business online. They graduated to a physical store three years ago and peddle all kinds of spiritual cleanses (white sage and palo santo tree bark) offer multiple discounts (senior, military and student) and run a library that contains an array of Bibles (both Satanic and King James).