Home Culture This Jersey City Metaphysical Shop is Part of the Community

This Jersey City Metaphysical Shop is Part of the Community

by Stephanie Spear
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Thinking about a family business probably conjures up images of something like a restaurant or car dealership. For one Jersey City family, the family business is otherworldly. Located at 332 Barrow Street in Jersey City, Iggi Olorun Metaphysical has been a destination for people of all walks of life looking for healing and guidance. The store has been in operation in the same location since 1961, and there are no plans to slow down. The Hoboken Girl had the chance to talk with Gino Bianco, owner of Iggi Olorun Metaphysical, to learn more about the store, its history, and its offerings. Read on to learn more about this piece of local history.

iggi olorun metaphysical

About the Store

Iggi Olorun Metaphysical, located at 332 Barrow Street, has been in the same location in downtown Jersey City since 1961. The oversized metal rooster that has been in place since day one still holds sentry over the front door. Owner Gino Bianco’s grandmother Anna founded the store as a way to connect with the community. Anna grew up in Jersey City and had always been a healer. Friends, family, and neighbors would turn to her to help with their problems. According to Gino, Anna said that opening a store would allow her to help more people. “It’s all about the community,” he said. “She wanted to help the community and she would cater to everyone.”

Iggi Olorun Logo

Anna, who is of Spanish and Italian descent, chose the Nigerian phrase Iggi Olorun, which means ‘the path of God’. Gino said she wanted the name of the store to stand out. “A lot of people come in to ask what it means,” he said. “It’s a good conversation starter.”

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Gino has worked in the store since he was in college and said that something he observed back then was the variety of people coming to Anna for help and guidance. “I would see everyone, all ethnicities, all religions,” he said. “She would remind me that everyone has issues, regardless of their background. She told me she felt like a therapist.”

Iggi Olorun_Old Photos

As Anna contemplated retiring in the early 2000s — she wanted to keep the store in the family, and for the store to be available for the community. Gino and his cousins all had other careers at the time, so while Gino stepped up to run the store, the hours would be different from what Anna had offered. Anna was amenable to that, and Gino said that when she finally did retire, hundreds of people from the community came to celebrate her. At age 92, Anna is still involved with the store, including making moonlight-infused candles from her home in Florida.

The Experience

The store is filled with colorful candles, crystals of many sizes, bundles of sage, packets of herbs, and many books and other items. For a newcomer, it could be overwhelming, but one of the things that makes this shop special is the customer service experience. “When people walk in, we can tell what they need,” Gino said. “We have a funny feeling.”

This personal service is one of the reasons why the store has been so successful for so long. “We’ve never had to advertise,” he said. “Everything is word of mouth.” The store is stocked with items accessible enough for beginners or advanced spiritualists. “For a beginner, we would talk to you and feel out where you are and what your knowledge is,” Gino said. “We usually start with books, and offer herbs or candles.”

Herbs_Iggi Olorun

Gino pointed out that for any of the spiritual work to have an impact, the client must first be in a good place with him or herself. “We offer a lot of self-care, self-love items,” he said. “A lot of our products are intention-setting products. Manifestation is trendy now, but we’ve been doing that forever.”

The items in the store have been carefully selected, Gino said. “We have items that meet other religions’ standards, such as beeswax candles. We try to make everyone as comfortable as possible.” He went on to say, “We try to educate everyone who comes in, and that is part of the packaging of the products. People can learn about the different ingredients and how to use them.”

iggi Olorun_Candles

In addition to the metaphysical products, Iggi Olorun offers healing services and clairvoyant readings. “People come from everywhere. Last weekend we had people from Montana and Illinois,” Gino said. Gino is the clairvoyant. He says that it runs in the family and he and all of his cousins have the same gift. “We just feel things and we go with what we feel.” The cousins will pitch in as well.

The readings are offered only on Saturdays and clients must call the store to be placed on a waiting list. “Right now we are booking four months out,” Gino said. “People come in for a reading, and have no expectations. It could be 45 minutes or two hours. It’s very thorough and people are happy, which is why the referrals are so strong.”

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During COVID, a lot of people used that time to learn more about spirituality. “People come in and are a lot more educated,” Gino said. “They’re very self-aware. We lost a lot of our older customers. Now their kids come here because they would find a card in their loved one’s belongings. People come in and they know exactly what they want, it has changed the dynamic.” The wide variety of items in the store means that Gino is able to meet the needs of these customers as well. In fact, the store is now on DoorDash so local customers can have their items delivered. “Tuesdays are wild,” Gino said. “People spend all weekend reading and then order their items. When we open on Tuesday we have all these orders”.

Gino said, “We want people to know that we accept everyone. Even dogs! We have pet products, such as paw balm and anxiety candles. We cater to everyone. We are a community service.”

Iggi Olorun is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 4:30PM until 8PM and Saturdays from 2:30PM until 8PM.

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