Rosehouse Botanicals is one of the many locally owned shops along Broadway that has had to stop in-store sales because of COVID-19 concerns.
While many businesses in the area are trying to find alternative models to keep them afloat — such as a makeshift grocery delivery ramp at Nooch Vegan Market, a to-go coffee window at Mutiny Information Cafe and a neighborhood arts initiative from Erika Righter of Hope Tank — others have closed until further notice.
For Kristin Schuch, one of Rosehouse's partners, there was no question that the business should keep going. But how? While some came to the store at 14 South Broadway to buy, many simply come to "hang out with plants," she explains.
"We weren't prepared for online, we're so experiential," Schuch says. "We want to make sure people get the right thing, and that can be hard online."
Schuch worries that if people have a bad experience with plants, they might think they're bound for failure and never try again. That's why Rosehouse takes extra care to match an individual's environment, habits and needs with the right type of vegetation.
While putting the store's entire inventory online wasn't the right route, closing the doors of the shop until further notice didn't seem right, either.
So the Rosehouse team decided to instead offer two special delivery boxes each week. On Monday, it's a "Mystery Box," as described on Instagram:
MONDAY MYSTERY BOX: This is for those who love a good surprise, dreamers, mystics and lovers. | Pick an element (earth, air, water or fire) and we’ll shop our store and deliver some old fashioned magic to your doorstep. | No 2 boxes are the same. Think of it as a message from the universe with a Rosehouse touch. | NEW BOX THEMES EVERY MONDAY | link in bio • click “Special Packages” under “SHOP” | Our partners don’t sell on Amazon; they do adhere to business practices that are socially, environmentally and economically just and equitable. We know this matters to us. We know this matters to you. And they, like you, like we, are all doing our best to keep creating, dreaming, and sharing what we can with our community.
On Friday, Rosehouse is offering a box that contains a trio of plants intended to bring health, wellness and comfort into the home, hand-selected at various greenhouses around Denver.
Schuch visited the Calabrese Greenhouse in Arvada on April 10 to shop for upcoming boxes.
Calabrese Greenhouse is a locally owned mom-and-pop –– or, rather, grandmom-and-grandpop –– wholesale supplier. The business was founded in Arvada in 1952 by a couple known as Grandma and Grandpa Calabrese. Today the business is owned by Joe Calabrese II, the grandson of the founders.
Selections from Calabrese Greenhouse, including small ficus varietals, will be part of the boxes delivered on Monday, April 20. They're designed to bring comfort, companionship and clean air to customers.
But preparing the boxes helps the owners of Rosehouse, too. "The plant boxes are as much for us as they are for other people," Schuch admits.
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So far, the business hasn't had to let anyone go, and Schuch hopes it won't have to. She's taking things day by day, doing her best to balance her team's desire for work with their need for rest and safe social-distancing practices.
"It's a lot to hold," she says. "It's absolutely worth it, but it's what keeps me up at night."
She gestures around the store: "They take care of this, and I take care of them."
To view each week's selections, follow Rosehouse Botanicals on Instagram @rosehousebotanicals, and visit the store's website to place an order for a Monday Mystery Box or Friday Plant Box, both available for delivery or curbside pick-up at 14 South Broadway.