Besom Apothecary offers spiritual healing as well as herbal teas and handmade items

First-time business owners strive to create more spiritual acceptance among Bay City shoppers.

Lorie Starr and Melissa Alex opened Besom Apothecary, 102 N. Walnut St., on the West Side of Bay City on Sept. 18.

If you're shopping for something special, the owners can create a custom herbal tea for you.“Besom means witches broom” says Starr. “Originally, we were going to come in a little bit toned down, a little quieter. People in this field know what besom means, but other people just assume it is a last name”

But after hesitating for a moment, they changed their minds.  “We decided to come in full force. It's not something you hear often, it has aged out of our language” says Starr.

Friends of 14 years, Starr and Alex constantly pursue methods to raise awareness of their work, share their enthusiasm, and offer a safe space to everyone.

Starr has a wealth of knowledge from the spiritual world. She is an ordained minister, a certified herbalist, and a hypnotherapist. Starr has more than 30 years of expertise in tarot reading. She does home energy cleansing. Starr practices many kinds of healing including hands-on, aura, and crystal healing. Many of these services are provided at this location.

In addition to herbs, the shop also carries crystals. Co-owner Lorie Starr specializes in crystal healing.“We wanted to do something about 10 years ago, we were tired of not being able to find quality items at an affordable price,” says Alex. “We wanted something unique and different. It took time for us to open, but finally being able to open is a dream come true.”

Starr and Alex are both lifelong residents of Bay City. When searching for locations for their shop they considered the city's history, including location, building, and environment.

“From our basement, you can see the old tunnels that ran to the river where they used to bring in alcohol during the prohibition days. All of the buildings in the area used to be connected at one point,” says Alex.

 “Bay City’s history is amazing,” adds Starr.

A first glance into the store reveals a large variety of inventory. Custom teas, handmade items from other small Michigan businesses, and clothing accessories of all sorts fills the space.

“We chose items based of quality and affordability, and if they are something we would want,” says Starr.

Take a walk down to the basement of the building to find a beautiful room they practice their many services. Draped in gold curtains and completely private from the store, here’s where you may find Starr participating in metaphysical practices.

The shop carries handmade items, such as these decorative brooms.Starr and Alex would like to potentially expand and put all their energy and passion into the shop.

Until then, store hours are limited. “For now, we are really content with evening hours and being here on the weekends,” says Alex.

Any time spent at the store is a labor of love for the pair. “We initially went into this as a hobby, but we are really falling in love with it,” Starr says. “We are falling in love with the people we meet.”

“We are excited to help this area grow,” adds Alex.

Everyone is welcome to check out the shop and enjoy a glass of its custom tea, “Spellbinder.” Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Learn more on the Besom Apothecary website at or reach them social platforms including Facebook and Instagram

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