Aug 25, 2023 - Business

Award-winning plant shop sprouts up in Richmond

Shades of Moss moved from Charlotte to the corner of Shields and Cary. Photo: Courtesy of Barry Greene

A plant shop voted the best in Charlotte, North Carolina, two years in a row has picked up roots and replanted in Richmond.

Driving the news: Shades of Moss, a boutique plant and indie record store, is having its grand opening Saturday at 2128 W. Cary St.

  • The opening is a homecoming for owner and Richmond native Barry Greene who, after stints in Brooklyn and Charlotte, boomeranged back to Richmond a second time last year.

Why it matters: Richmond's thriving Black-owned small business community — and the city's reputation for being supportive of these businesses — is what inspired him to make the move.

Barry Greene and his wife Victoria. Photo: Courtesy of Barry Greene

In Charlotte, it was difficult for him to find a retail space, even when one was listed as available for rent, Greene tells Axios.

  • He'd reach out and be told the price per square footage was suddenly higher, or that a space was no longer available, only to see it remain vacant.
  • It was an experience echoed by other Charlotte business owners of color, Axios Charlotte's Katie Peralta Soloff reported in 2021.

Meanwhile, Greene was watching friends open business after business here in his hometown. Places like Urban Hang Suite, Ruby Scoops, Charged Up and the Richmond Flower Truck.

  • So Greene came back to Richmond with his wife and 18-month-old daughter.

What they're saying: "I've always felt like [the Black business community] has been a hidden gem of Richmond. I'm happy. I've come full circle," Greene said, adding that having his daughter walk into a store in his hometown is a bonus.

Shades of Moss is open Thursday-Sunday. Photo: Courtesy of Barry Greene

Zoom in: At Shades of Moss, locals will find plants, pots and potting soil, plus incense, candles, loose tea his wife grows and a growing list of smaller items from fellow local business owners, like Rushing Blooms' dried flowers.

  • Green also offers in-home consulting services to help folks get started with plant care — or just keeping their existing plants alive.

On the vinyl front, shoppers can expect a curated selection of jazz, lo-fi, house and soul.

  • "It's very niche. Our motto is, every plant deserves a great playlist," he says.

And in Richmond, he's finally found a place that wants to hear it.


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