PLAINVILLE — Leaning on a long wooden table with dirt sprouting from the grains of the wood, Jeff Eleveld said the desire to have a plant bench was one of the reasons he opened the The Lil’ Plant Shop about two years ago.
"I've always wanted a plant bench, so I could just come and plant some plants without having to worry about cleaning up," Eleveld said. "It's my passion. It's just something I've done since I was about 10 years old and I've never lost interest in it.”
The store recently moved to a new home in a storefront on East Main Street.
The bench gives customers a place to create their own combinations of a plant, container and decorations.
"You take your vessel and you look at all the different plants we have and you start building onto your design," Eleveld said.
The store recently moved from 52 W. Main St. to the larger location. The new storefront at 8 E. Main St. was the former home of El Camino Christian Bookstore. Jeff Eleveld runs the shop with his wife Pat Eleveld and daughter, Carli Eleveld.
Cal Hauburger, the town’s economic development coordinator, said the unique store has a solid clientele.
“The shop has a great energy to it. You could tell it was a little different....something everyone was excited about,” he said. “I think it brings something else to differentiate Plainville from the surrounding towns.”
The shop also offers classes, such as “How to Kill a Houseplant” – which teachers customers how to keep their plants healthy.
"We try to do our best to give a lot of plant education,” Carli Eleveld said. “That's our big thing here, plant education. Any plant that's purchased...(the customer) will leave feeling confident in the fact that they know how to take care of their plant.
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