Drutopia rebounds with community support

Posted at 9:54 PM, Jul 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 01:16:39-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — “When you’re doing something good and doing it the right way and doing it with heart and with integrity, people in Tucson will find it and they tend to support it and keep it going,” said Drew Berryhill, owner of Drutopia.

Opening up to the public March 2020, Berryhill had to quickly shut down his botanical garden, Drutopia, a week later.

“It was just a wild, wild time of year. The pandemic, everything else going on with police brutality, all that type of stuff. So it was the perfect storm around that time,” said Berryhill.

A storm that got even rougher for Berryhill. He started Drutopia out of his previous home in midtown, but was forced out.

“Crazy, crazy well-documented situation that was - it's wild thinking back to that time. But at the height of all the drama last year, an individual from the Dunbar reached out, Aquil Hameed,” said Berryhill.

Folks at Dunbar Pavilion heard about Berryhill’s situation. In wanting to help a black-owned Tucson business, the pavilion offered Berryhill a place to put up shop.

“A safe space where I can come and continue on my business. I was being forced out of my home, my business was, if you will, under attack somebody was trying to seize it. I didn’t have any options, I didn’t have anywhere to go,” said Berryhill.

And at the perfect timing, he was able to move his business into the corner of Dunbar pavilions parking lot.

“It has meant a lot to have the support from the community all around. I started this as a sole proprietorship. I started this business on my own. And up until the study that popped off last year, I was, I felt like, on my own. At the exact right time, timing is everything, the community lifted me up and surrounded me,” said Berryhill.

And with all of that community support, Berryhill has his feet under him and has rebound successfully.

His setup at the Dunbar parking lot is a temporary one. He will soon move his many succulent, gemstones, and other plants, over to the adjacent community garden and build his permanent botanical garden and retail space later this month.