Cheers to Inglewood cocktail collaboration: Coniferous Zingibeer

Coniferous Zingibeer

Kyle Chow – Plant

 

What is the inspiration behind your cocktail?

For me, it was about taking all of the flavours I like in a drink. I love refreshing and bright drinks, and I think the cocktail we designed really meets that. The Coniferous Zingibeer is really fresh, citrusy, and it’s herbaceous which pairs with our love of plants, obviously.

How many years have you been in Inglewood?

We have been in the neighbourhood for just under 3 years, but in this specific space for about a year and a half. Before we moved to this location, we were just three doors away in a smaller space for two years. The move has really shown us how the business has grown and expanded.

Why did you choose this neighbourhood?

When I was looking for a space I wanted somewhere we would fit in, and an area that supported local and independent businesses versus some areas that have retail districts or larger chains. Because we were starting off very small, just my wife and I, we were just looking for what was affordable and where can we get into retail without feeling too intimidated, so Inglewood was just a natural fit. And Inglewood was the area we were always interested in, there wasn’t really any other neighbourhoods that I really looked into to be honest. We ended up just going back and forth on a weekly basis waiting for lease signs to pop up for a space.

It’s a really nice community. It isn’t about competition, it is about support. Through projects like this for cross promotion, or through collaborations and showcasing each other’s products, that just happens naturally cause we either buy or frequent local businesses so we develop those close relationships.

Have you seen your business grow and change during your time in Inglewood?

For us it has been dramatic growth over the past three years, kind of exponential. Since we opened, the momentum just kept on going and we are still riding that. We just kept adapting and trying to find new things to bring in to constantly change and try to stay fresh. We don’t want Plant to be the same store you went to a month ago, we want you to come in and notice how its has changed and feel that there is always something new to find. Also, with the neighbourhood I have found that we see a broad range in audience. We see groups from young teenagers to families that come from the suburbs or inner city, and then people who remember Inglewood from when they were younger when the neighbourhood didn’t have the same refinement that it has now so I think those people come back and are like wow, they get excited to see how the neighbourhood has changed and then start visiting all the shops. And fortunately, at Plant, we get to see the whole range of people because we have products that are universal in a way.

What made you decide to open Plant?

We started with a home based business that was really small, and it was a side project for me to build terrariums and go to markets to sell them. We ended up just outgrowing what we could sustain in our home… there were plants and terrariums on every surface! And I always wanted to open a store of my own, and to be honest I didn’t expect it to be with plants! It was something I had always worked with and enjoyed but then the terrarium business just naturally happened and we thought why don’t we open a plant store? That is where the inspiration came from, to make a plant store that’s more modern and accessible to people and finding a way to present and offer plants in a more unique way.

Do you notice trends in plants, or find that they have become more popular recently?

Definitely. I mean we started the business with the terrariums and were led to the store because of how popular those became. Now there are very trendy plants that are popular so we pull from that and then try and find plants that might be the next popular thing. Also, we try to find interesting ways to display the plants. But plants are always evolving and never really leave. I think a decade ago people didn’t really have a lot of plants or saw them as things that your parents or grandparents had in the corner of the room, but now I think people are getting interested in them again. And you can find modern ways of having them which is great. It’s about how you incorporate them into your life and finding out how to show that. It’s about how you choose to bring those together and finding ways to put them in your home or apartment. We like to find ways to show how you can put the plant and the supplies together and make it easy.

What is your favourite plant? What do you like to have in your own home?

Do I? That is always a really hard question! I swear think it changes every month! Right now I really like Rubber Trees. They have big deep purple green leaves and they are very hearty and beautiful looking. Very substantial. Our house has a lot of plants, people assume we have a million terrariums in the house but I have to say after living with having hundreds of terrariums covering every countertop it was nice to limit the terrariums and have plants instead.

How do you decide what to have in the store?

We usually bring in things that we see people gravitate towards whether it’s different shapes or colours. We also see things while travelling that show up in other cities and countries, especially in countries that are leading trends before North America gets them. We try to get those in to be fresh and new and be ahead of it. Sometimes it is just about finding combinations. I have a design background so its finding combinations that I can incorporate into plants and find how to pair them. That’s the fun part of the job, trying to present plants in a way that hasn’t been seen before.

How would you describe Inglewood?

I would describe it as a very welcoming engaging and accessible neighbourhood. It’s a place where it doesn’t really matter what your demographic is you will find something that resonates with you. Whatever your tastes are, you will find a large selection of shops and places to eat to enjoy for the day, and that’s the nice thing about the neighbourhood is that it is so accessible to so many people. And it’s not intimidating, it has a very small town feel in a big city and I think that what is so great about it.

Do you think that Inglewood reflects your brand?

For us it is having a place that is welcoming to people. Greenery is already warm and inviting, and when you want to make your house homey, a lot of times people think plants can do that. So we want people to feel that way when they are coming into the neighbourhood and Inglewood does fit that mark. It matches what we offer at any time.

What are your favourite stores to frequent in Inglewood?

My wife and I frequent the Off Cut Bar a lot, after work we like to go for snacks and drinks. We go to Bite a lot, Fresh Laundry, and both coffee shops, Rosso and Gravity. North American Quality Purveyors (NAQP), the men’s shop, is probably one of my favourites.

 

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