Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Adventuring // Succiko Succulents in Castro Valley

Um. Yes.
It's like an upside-down baby pineapple! Gahhh.

Feeling hipster and pretending I have a green thumb...


Who: Janelly and I
Where: Succiko in Castro Valley
When: Friday around 2:00 PM

The Place: A few weeks back {okay, like almost a month ago...}, Janelle and I went adventuring. There's this one storefront down the street from me that I'd been meaning to check out ever since it opened last autumn because one, it looked adorable, and two, I love small businesses. And I knew if I dragged Janelle with me, she'd be cool with me lingering and taking pictures and wavering over which succulent to buy. Hee.

Tucked away between a pizza place and a pet groomer's, Succiko feels a bit out of place-- one could easily see this shop along Elmwood in Berkeley or on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach. With a beautiful wooden marquee sign out front and a no frills, minimal-esque interior, you can tell the focus here is on the plants themselves, a passion the young couple who own the store want to share with the community.

Airplants and succulents and terrariums and wreaths... these kids have all the accessories and things you'd need to start your own mini garden. Their selection is pretty impressive-- these aren't just your average Home Depot/Orchard Supply type options. They've gone above and beyond that and brought in the super cool greenery. (:

What We Did: When Janelle and I first walked in, the owners were in middle of a mutual love fest with another small business owner who lives in the area. Not only was it great to see people encouraging and supporting other, but it made us smile that while his wife talked shop with their customer, the husband was keeping the woman's two elementary-age kids occupied and making them laugh.

I knew I wanted to take photos of the interior; having driven by the store plenty of times since it had opened, I had an inkling of how awesome the inside would be and knew I wanted to feature it in a blogpost. While I did my thing, Janelle wandered around and noted that it'd be dangerous to bring her little sister {who's now in a sophomore in college-- where did the time go?!?} here because she would want to get ALL THE THINGS and Janelle, who is already in charge of Brit's mini cactus, didn't want to be responsible for possibly killing even more adorable plants.

I'm pretty sure I spent a good eight minutes just walking back and forth between one plant display and another, trying to decide which itsy bitsy succulent to get. I found I'm drawn to the perfectly symmetrical, geometric ones-- their patterns make me happy. And I was right to bring Janelly because she played Devil's Advocate for me when I was like, "BUT WHICH ONNNEEEE??? *flails arms wildly*"

The checkout process was seamless and quick. I was informed that the care instructions were on their website {here if you were curious} and was given a few suggestions on very cool planters that might work with the shape of my plant. "This is a present for yourself, yes?" Yep, I'm excited! "Did you want me to prettify the bag anyways or are we just trying to make sure it doesn't fall over in the car?" Nah, just structural support's fine, but thanks for asking!

They were super sweet. They even personally replied to my feedback on Square, knew exactly which customer I was, and wished me good luck with my plant! D'aww. I like them.

Tips: A few suggestions...
+ Parking is suuuper hard in the tiny parking lot out front, since Succiko has to share with the pizza place next door and they're located on a busy two-lane street. As a local who knows better than to attempt getting in and out of there without a panic attack {that could also just be my dislike of driving speaking}, I'd suggest parking at Rumi Cafe's lot a block away and just walking to Succiko. Not only is it so much easier to park, but you get to see a yard full of chickens along the way!

+ The prices for their succulents are going to be a tad bit higher than if you had just gone to a larger home improvement store, BUT. One, you're supporting a local small business, which totally counterbalances that in my book. Two, for me at least, Succiko is super close, so I don't have to go out of my way to find awesome plants. And three, you cannot beat the personalized customer service you'll find here. If you have any questions about your new plants or want to learn how to put together your own terrarium or are interested in floral arrangements for an event, this is where you want to go.

+ Speaking of, Succiko also has floral services if you want something pretty for your wedding or prom. Check out some of their options here!

+ For a while, their store hours were a little odd {something like, Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm to 7pm some days, other days 4pm to 6pm? it was a bit strange}, but they've figured out more consistent hours now and added more days they're open. I'd probably still check to make sure they're open before heading over there though, just in case.

Conclusion: This is my new happy place. As I currently have some free time, I thought about asking if they needed an extra helping hand, but then I remembered I don't know enough about plants to be useful to them. Boo. It would be so cool though... *lost in the daydream*

Since my working there probably won't happen *siiigh*, I suppose I'll just have to attend a few of their community socials once those start up instead! In the meantime, check out their ridiculously gorgeous Instagram account or sign up for their newsletter {I hear they have insider discounts for their subscribers... heyhey}!


19577 Center Street
Castro Valley, California 94546

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