A plant store, and more. That’s what’s brewing inside the walls of the Wild Berry building on Pioneer Avenue.
Darren Williams, owner of Plant Man, and store manager Christina Cooper have big plans to curate a space not only to provide Homer plant lovers with a wide variety of succulents and fronds, but to offer a space where the community can enjoy different activities as well.
The savvy shopper may have noticed that Williams opened a showroom for the plant business in the Wild Berry building several months ago. He also expanded it in February into the front window section of Wild Berry, increasing his space to show plants and capacity to host community-centered events.
The space itself is packed full of dozens of different types of plants. The sound of trickling water follows a shopper from room to room, and crisp sunlight spills through the front windows of historic Homer building onto the leaves of even more plants.
Williams is hoping people will feel like staying for a while.
“The plants have a lot to offer,” he said. “There’s a lot of energy in this space.”
The plants themselves create an oxygenated environment in the showroom, and Williams noted that several people remarked on how nice it felt inside the business when he first opened. That’s the peaceful feeling he’d like to expand on.
Also a local pastor, Williams said the vision for the show room is to offer a calming, peaceful place where people can come spend time, even if they don’t plan on purchasing a plant. Music sessions, arts classes and plant care workshops are all on the docket in terms of opportunities he’d like to offer the community. Williams and Cooper also plan to host First Friday art exhibit openings in the space.
“The foundation of it is just to have a place to grow, and show and move plants through,” Williams said. “And have a place where people can come and enjoy the environment of the plants.”
The showroom features a small pond, an aquarium, a cat and even a few birds. There are tables that can be brought out and turned into art and craft stations, and a myriad of drums.
Cooper will also host a variety of classes, including sip and paint, mosaic art, and glass painting.
“This is a healing place,” she said. “We’ve both been through a lot of trauma, and wanted to offer a place — we know what it’s like to go through stuff, and even just life in general with COVID right now — a place just to kind of get away from all that and express that in art.”
Cooper and Williams said the space can also be available for private groups to book for art and craft activities.
Both Williams and Cooper were raised in Homer, and remember the Wild Berry building in its prime. Williams acknowledged what an important building it is to the community. The current owners of the property feel positive about the Plant Man and the future plans for the space, Williams said.
“We feel honored to be in this space,” he said. “And especially in one of the oldest buildings in Homer.”