The Aphrodisia Herb Shoppe has been in Greenwich Village since 1969. Yesterday it shuttered.
Owner Joann Pelletiere, who had worked in the shop since the 1970s, reported 1/11 on her Facebook page, "Unfortunately I am being forced to close the store on Bleecker Street at the end of January, after 35 years. Thank you for all your support and please stay in touch online."
photo: Philliecasablanca's flickr
This comes soon after BookBook, formerly Biography, became their neighbor. It seemed like a good pairing--herb shop and book shop.
New York describes Aphrodisia as "a kind of mid-century precursor to Diagon Alley, where Harry Potter and pals might find essential ingredients for a class on the Dark Arts. There are enough culinary and medicinal herbs, curative teas, exotic spices, and vitamin supplements here to fill a shaman’s charm chest, an herbalist's apothecary, and a chef's pantry."
Cool in Your Code interviewed Ms. Pelletiere on film, who remarked, "We have generations coming in, children of children coming in."
New York Magazine
The shop was also known for its cats, who lolled in the window on sunny mornings and were written up in The Villager: "The cats are a part of the store," Pelletiere said. "If people don’t see them in the window they’re very concerned. It’s neighborhood lore." But the cats will now be gone from the window, as another small, feline-friendly business is pushed out of the city.
Thanks to Stef for the tip and the photo of the goodbye sign, as well as the following:
"It was always an oasis of calm in the shop, so different from much of the mostly gentrified, tourist-choked and less-authentic neighborhood surrounding it. I chatted with Joanne a bit and she said her rent is going up from $9,000 to $18,000. She said she hoped she could find another spot and continue."
Post-Script: Maybe Joann can move into the Angelica's space--which is still closed.