(Before I started grad school, I thought maybe I'd like to open a supercute flower shop in the 'nabe. But, not having a business plan or any experience running my own store, I decided to wait for an expert to take care of it. And here they are!)
On Friday -- one of those gorgeous spring days we've had recently -- I met up with John Rattigan, co-owner of Park Slope's Root Stock & Quade along with Kerry Quade. As I reported earlier, the duo are opening a branch of their flower-gardening business on Myrtle Avenue.
As it turns out, Rattigan is actually a two-time resident of the Hill (he lived in the 'nabe twenty years ago and currently lives on Washington Avenue). He and Quade originally came upon the Myrtle Avenue space while trying to find a vase for a job they were working on. At the time, the storefront hosted a one-hour photo and chair rental service (along with other random rigmarole), and the two marveled at what poor shape the storefront was in. Soon after, Rattigan noticed a For Rent sign in the window. The landlord happened to be inside, and Rattigan signed the lease soon after. "It was the easiest thing ever," he says, in comparison to negotiating his lease for the Park Slope outpost. "A snap!"
The lease was signed on February 13, and they plan on being open by May 1.
The shop will be offering garden design, full service floral design for weddings and events, retail, indoor and outdoor plants (herbs, perennials, shrubs, etc) and flowers by the bunch and the stem. Come fall, they hope to offer the occasional class on window boxes and basic houseplant care (note: can I sign up now for the latter?).
The storefront, an ice cream parlor in the 1940s, will incorporate as many traditional elements as possible. "I really want to make the space correct for the building and the neighborhood, and fill it with cool, modern stuff," Rattigan explains. He was able to salvage the old tile flooring and hopes to frame some old photos of the building, along with some of the vintage wallpaper he came across during renovations. He tells me that the new store will be a "vibey" place with cool music.
Rattigan is a huge fan of the energy in Clinton Hill. "I love the mixed vibe," he says. "There's no malaise. People here are always doing something or fixing something. And MARP is so 'together!'
"I love Maggie Brown -- I'm always there! -- and my favorite is A Bistro. I love everything about it," he gushes. "And Castro's! I've heard people come from New Jersey to eat there!"
Rattigan is prepared for the inevitable backlash on pricepoints at the store, but stresses that high quality plants and flowers (ie non-refrigerated!) aren't inexpensive. They're also extending a 10% discount on all plant purchases to Brooklyn Botanic Gardens members. RS&Q won't be the go-to place for every day things, at least for me, but I know I'll welcome the opportunity to swing by for a small bouquet after a pedi at PBB.
Root Stock & Quade 471 Myrtle Ave (bt Washington and Hall) http://rootstockquade.com/