Visit the Garden of Eden in the Swiss Village Shops and you won’t find any serpents offering toxic apples. What you will find is all natural skin care products, herbs and spices, herbal extracts, supplements, teas and anything else you could think of to feel better — naturally.
Owner Gladys Moreno knows more than a thing or two about using organic products. Since 2003, Moreno has operated Garden of Eden in several locations around town and managed an online Web site that sells most of the store’s products. She has also studied massage therapy and reflexology at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts College in Tempe and medical herbalism at the North American Institute for Medical Herbalism out of Colorado State.
Moreno originally opened Garden of Eden on Main Street six years ago, uprooted it to Highway 260 several years later, transferred everything to a space on South Beeline Highway and finally boxed everything up and unloaded it at the Carpenter’s Wife, where she rented space within the antique store for one and half years.
Eventually, Moreno decided to spend more time on her Web site and closed up shop, but she always had dreams of reopening a retail space when rent costs declined. Moreno describes her time away from the store as a sabbatical to refresh her thoughts “minus the vacation.”
When Scoops decided to relocate to the Sawmill Crossing several months ago, Moreno saw her chance to fulfill her dream of reopening Eden in the vacated space.
“The opportunity opened and it was just perfect for us,” she said. “The location is awesome.”
How has the Garden of Eden changed since Moreno opened in 2003? Moreno said it has changed for the better, offering an expanded list of products, all made locally by Moreno and staff.
Eden now offers more immunity boosting products, which have grown in popularity in recent years, and raw herbs.
Her most popular product, however, is coconut vanilla chapstick, which flies off the shelf as quick as it is whipped up in her small kitchen located at the back of the store. Take a peek into the back room and shelves are lined with various powders and creams of every color and smell.
Another popular product Moreno assembles is tea. Moreno suggests anyone interested in alternative medicine start small with teas, which have few side effects and mix well with most medications.
“Tea is a gentle way and tasty way and it keeps you toasty,” she said.
Moreno warns consumers should educate themselves first before taking any herbs.
“I don’t want people to take my word for it,” she said.
Besides herbs, you can find oils, incense, mineral makeup, lotions and accessories at the Garden of Eden.