THE OWNER of a unique shop in one of York's busiest streets is looking to sell the store that's been in business for 20 years.

The Zentist in Gillygate offers more than 500 crystals, a collection of tarot cards and more. However, after twenty years of spirituality, the store may be shutting for good.

Owner Barbara Stepowanyj first took on The Zentist in 2016. The store, formerly known as Cosmic Trading, became available while she was working in a café further down the road.

She said: "I heard about The Zentist being sold and we came over and had a look.

"At the same time I was going for a high ranking job at Lloyd's and Halifax. I didn't get it and we came here. I was obviously meant to be here."

York Press: The Zentist in GillygateThe Zentist in Gillygate (Image: Harry Booth)

Explaining her interest in what can sometimes be seen as alternative methods, she said: "I've always had an interest in spirituality.

"The positivity and the way it makes people feel, it's all of what's good in the world.

"Long before pharmaceuticals were around we lived off the land - crystals have been used for thousands of years."

Barbara is now looking forward to retirement with her already retired partner Mike. The couple, who live near York, felt their time at The Zentist had come to an appropriate end.

Barbara said: "For me, I've done as much as I can.

"Things such as social media have overtaken me."


She did, however, reflect on her experiences fondly. 

"It's been a tremendous journey, certainly surpassing what I'd imagine.

"Things have gone from strength to strength."

However, despite her leaving The Zentist, Barbara hopes that the store will remain a fixture in York. 

"I'd like someone to come take it to the next level, it would be fantastic," she said.

The Zentist brand was once a chain of four stores, which stretched as far as Edinburgh.

Barbara issued a call to the store's future owner, in the hope there is one out there. 

She said: "Come on, go for it, show me what you can do with the place."