It will appear that this is about beards. And it is, to some extent. Beards are at the surface. Skin level. But they come from someplace inside. Although beauty may appear at the surface, it is certainly rooted much deeper within us. Although we say that health is rooted deep inside us, can it be something on the surface as well?
Last year at our town celebration, Matawan Day, with Main Street lined with over 200 vendors, a beard drew my attention to the Taproot Organics booth. I stopped and chatted with owner, Daniel Grunes, about their company’s oils and balms for our bewhiskered faces. I ended up buying beard oil with a slightly musky scent, a beard balm that reminded me of Teatree oil, two bars of Beer’d Wash soap made with what else but beer that I think my husband now uses on more than his beard, and a couple of bars of soap with coffee grounds in it called Chef’s Special that now sits on my kitchen windowsill for me to use every day.
Daniel and his wife, Zaida, recently moved their retail store and production facility from Jersey City to South Amboy, just a few minutes drive from my house, which made me very happy. When I go to their store, or visit the website, I want to try everything they have. I have a jar of Joints balm with arnica, comfrey, and hempseed oil that I use on my arthritic wrists and fingers. The pain lessens greatly when I use it. I still have arthritis, and have to be cautious with what I do with my hands, but after using it I can play the piano with very little discomfort. Zaida gave me a jar of Dream Cream that I have used on massage clients and friends, with their knowledge and permission, of course, that is designed to have a very comfortable resistance to massage strokes, allowing a desired degree of depth and pressure. Anyone I’ve used it on has given me glowing feedback. It contains a type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which can have an effect on inflammation. As I use it on someone else, my main source of discomfort, my hands and wrists, start to feel great.
I asked the owners about how they got started in this business. Zaida answered, “Back in 2011 I was looking for a well-crafted natural skincare for my family. Something with refined scents and balanced moisture. Not finding what we were looking for on the market, we decided to incorporate high-end organic food ingredients and make something of our own.”
When I asked her about their relocation, she said, “Central Jersey has been three years of bliss. It’s been wonderful to have the accessibility to nature, the beaches and the cities. We especially love Cheesequake State Park.”
When pressed on for more about the communities they serve, Zaida responded, “Taproot Organics is the collection designed to meet the needs of many. When you’re looking for Joint Balm or Dream Hemp Cream, we have options to help with pain, inflammation, and soreness. Not to mention the incredible stress-reduction aromatherapy.
“For party prepping, few things are as delicious as a long bath with a mud mask! The LGBTQ community includes our family, friends, neighbors, and teammates! We’re thrilled to continuously provide a safe space in the shops and on the road. Each year we offer a PRIDE collection with a portion of the proceeds donated to a local Pride center. Taproot Organics is thoughtfully formulated to be gender neutral. Each essential oil blend is created to evoke moments and feelings, whether calming and relaxing, or bright and uplifting. There’s something for everyone.”
A closing thought about beards: Mine is soft and fleecy, thanks to Taproot, whether it’s long and scruffy in the winter, or short and tidy in the summer. Many people have them. Some like them. Some do not. Since I’ve had very little hair on my head for the last 30 years, it’s nice to have it in a beard now and then.
I’m going to head back to Taproot, maybe at the next Pride festival, and investigate what they offer for more than my hands and head.