WINDOM PARK — South Minneapolis-based garden center Mother Earth Gardens is preparing to open its second location in Northeast. The garden center, which focuses on sustainable and organic plant materials and gifts from local artists, plans to open its new location on two parcels at the corner of Lowry Avenue and Stinson Parkway.
The parcels, 2358 Stinson Parkway and 2314-2318 Lowry Avenue, house two buildings, a two-story building with main floor retail space and second floor residential space and a single-story building with multiple retail spaces. According to Mother Earth Gardens co-owner Paige Pelini, the garden store will occupy the single-story building, which is best known as the original home of the popular craft store Crafty Planet. The yard space behind the store will become a garden, and the two-story building will be rented out.
Pelini said the main focus right now is to find tenants for the two-story building to start generating income during the slow winter months. She hopes to find both a residential renter for the top floor and a commercial tenant for the bottom floor.
Work on the garden store is now underway, but it will be some time before it officially opens. Pelini said she hopes to have a soft opening for the new location in spring of 2013, with an official opening in spring of 2014. That may seem like a long way out, but with a garden store, it’s necessary.
“This is a business where we have to pre-book plant materials sometimes a year in advance,” said Pelini. “It has to be grown, we can’t just buy it. That process has already begun.”
Pelini said she the new location will be very similar to the original store at 3738 42nd Ave. S in that it will be a year-round garden center with organic and sustainable plant materials, pottery, décor, gifts and more. But, she said, she hopes its neighbors will help shape the story into what they want it to be.
“We want to spend some time getting to know what the neighborhood really wants from a garden store,” said Pelini. “We plan to have some open houses to meet people and hear their thoughts. It will be custom to the neighborhood.”