New Leaf grows on Centre Street

February 22, 2008
By

John Swan


Gazette Photo by John SwanNew Leaf florist shop owners Jeb Taylor (standing) and Daniel Lopez-Ospina think they have found their niche in JP.

JP CENTER—New Leaf florist shop continues to blossom following its opening last June at 599 Centre St.

“We’ve done very well,” said JP resident Daniel Lopez-Ospina, who co-owns and runs the business with his long-time domestic partner, Jeb Taylor.

“The holidays were really busy and, of course, Valentine’s Day was crazy, a good crazy,” he said. “Both of us are pleasantly surprised by the amount of support we’ve had.”

One of now four stores in JP that either offer, or feature, flowers and plants, Taylor said they “thought our vision of the store was a good match with the needs of the community.”

“We’ve been looking into the idea [of starting a store] for a while,” Lopez-Ospinosaid. “When we saw the opening at [the former site of] Pluto’s we decide the time was right.

“There’s room for everybody,” he went on to say. “Our niche is a smaller, more intimate atmosphere that offers refined selection of flowers. And we have very fair prices.”

“I’ve gotten flowers here a couple times,” said Jason Zengerle as he perused the small shop with 1-year-old son Asa in a child carrier on his back.

“They always have eye-catching displays and unique arrangements. It’s really one of the nicest florist shops I’ve seen, very artistic,” he said.

“Every season we switch displays,” said Lopez-Ospina. “But each week we carry different stock and may have a different look. We want to inspire people with each change of seasons.”

The shop offers a variety of services in addition to the in-store sales of flowers, they said, including gardens in planters and urns for both inside and out, delivery, event displays and weddings.

New Leaf’s work will be featured on the cover of Traditional Home magazine next Christmas, they said, noting the shoot is already in the can.

“We provide everything from a couple of flowers for walk-in clients, to fully designed arrangements for events like the Boston Lyric Opera’s gala fund-raiser last September,” said Taylor. “The important thing is to listen to what the client wants…and then offer our ideas.”

Taylor went on to say they both have skills that are useful in the business’s operation, his as a retail manager, and his partner’s expertise as an interior designer.

“Daniel is probably more involved in the artistic vision of the business, while I do more of the books. But we both also have experience in the flower business. We go to the Flower Exchange in the mornings, and we work the floor together,” he said.

“We’ve worked together at Winston’s Florist, but this is the first time we’ve worked as co-owners,” said Lopez-Ospina. “We’ve had some stressful times, but I think it’s really made our relationship stronger.”

“Our goal is to serve Jamaica Plain,” said Taylor. “JP really is our home. There’s nowhere else we want to live. We’re committed to this neighborhood.”

Store hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information call the store at 522-1101.

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