New plant shop opens in Olde Mistick Village
Mystic — After a hiatus of about 18 years to teach and work in landscape architecture, Annie Hettick has returned to the plant-selling world.
Last Saturday, Hettick opened The Plant Boutique in Olde Mistick Village, in the store formerly occupied by Gray Goose Too.
It’s a small, dimly lit shop that smells of fresh wood and is stocked with terrariums, hanging pots, herbs, annuals, ivies, lemon trees, Venus flytraps, moss balls, orchids, air plants, aloe and more.
There’s jade, which Hettick calls “the college plant, because it’s really hard to kill.” There’s the staghorn fern, which grows on a board. There are snake plants, which people use to filter the air in their homes. There are succulents, of which Hettick estimates she sold 200 last week to millennials alone.
The support 20-somethings have given the shop so far has surprised Hettick; she expected it to be more popular among people in her age group (she’s 44).
“I think that millennials are starting to take a bit more pride in their space,” she said. She views a penchant for plants as part of a shift toward minimalism.
Hettick grew up in Seattle and attended the University of Oregon, where she studied horticulture and minored in theater. After graduating, she spent two years in Hawaii, learning to do tropical farming.
While at Hidden Villa, a nonprofit farm in California, she met Heintz Grotzke. Approaching retirement, he was attending conventions in hopes of finding a buyer for Meadowbrook Herb Garden, his farm in Richmond, R.I.
Young and unafraid, Hettick moved and took over the herb garden. She ran Meadowbrook for about six years, but the hours were long and she wanted to start a family. She went on to teach at The Mountain School of Milton Academy in Vermont, and at Common Ground High School in New Haven.
Hettick began managing landscape work for Regan Enterprises, and eventually got married to Chris Regan, property manager of Olde Mistick Village. Between the two of them, they have five kids ranging in age from 15 to 26.
While she has worn many hats in the operation of the village, she now primarily is focused on her new plant store and on the upcoming Taste of Mystic, an annual food and music festival.
Hettick grows some of the plants she sells in her two greenhouses and gets others, such as a succulent called a string-of-pearls or a banana tree, from a supplier in Florida. Every week brings something different to the shop.
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