SAGRADA is a purveyor of unique spiritual goods,
meditation supplies, devotional arts and crafts,
and books celebrating all spiritual traditions,
serving our community in the heart of Oakland since 1994.

Thank you for visiting our website.

Mary and Carlo Busby

Our Story

SAGRADA was born in a 100-year-old shack, a former stable for the Telegraph Avenue streetcar horses.  When we began in 1994, 49th Street was home to a few artist studios and some storage units.  Our 20x20-foot space had no front door - a pull on an old schoolhouse bell would bring us out to greet a customer at the rusty locked gate.  We sometimes wondered if anyone would ever find us!

Slowly, like a plant, our little business began to grow.  After three years of tending this garden, we took the leap and the risk to join the other businesses on Telegraph Avenue.  There were many vacant storefronts, and we hoped to sprinkle a bit of beauty and life to a formerly vibrant neighborhood that had become somewhat dreary.  We lived here, and wanted to give it our best.

With angels and starlights, the shop windows were certainly eye-catching, if not a conversation starter.  Some neighbors inquired why we had chosen this forlorn (in their eyes) locale, rather than the posh "Fourth Street" in Berkeley.

One day early on, while arranging the windows yet out of sight from passersby, I heard a sweet little voice in wonderment calling out, "Mama, look! Its an angel!!"  I peeked out from behind the curtain to spy a most beautiful little girl.  And I felt in my heart - "yes" - this is why we are here, in this place, right now, for this little girl, and for everyone who will pass by these windows.

The "angels" have, over these many years, become a portal for many sacred encounters.  People have been embraced right there in the midst of those angels, people have been held, have been sung to, people have stood in that very spot and collapsed in grief over the death of a mother, and a daughter.  Miguel, a friend from East Oakland who came on the bus every day to walk a few blocks to his dialysis clinic would stand outside in the shadow of his Archangel Rafael (he had named it) to pray for healing.

In the shelter of those angels wings, Kate and Melanie have led us singing when Nelson Mandela died, for Pete Seeger, Oscar Grant, and others.

For those with the eyes to see, they know that the angels - and this portal we call "Sagrada" (sacred, spanish)- invites us to another world, another dimension.  They tell us that we cannot live on bread alone.  We must somehow feed the soul, water the seeds of compassion, keep the ceremonies, and nurture the spiritual practices, whatever our awareness of that might be. 

We are blessed to have represented the works of authors, artists, activists, and healers both on the bookstore shelves and occasionally gifting us in person.

We welcome you to this amazing circle of friendship and peace.

- Mary & Carlo



SAGRADA began in 1994 with the name Illuminations.
A lot has changed since our friend Kim first helped us raise the flags of welcome.