Business closings leave a gap

When a business closes its doors, the community around it shifts, like a crowded elevator when someone steps off. Many don’t recognize the loss right away, and weeks or months later might say, “Wait, what happened to…?”

The tone of voice might be sadness, mild shock or something approaching indignation. The folded business might be felt as a passing inconvenience (“Where am going to buy…now?”), or like a punch in the gut, as the new signage and window display (or worse, vacant space) remind us of the transience of things.

Jamaica Plain has lost several well-loved businesses this year, the latest being Petal & Leaf, a marvelous flower shop run by a gem of a person, Cat Thomson. As with The Alchemist and Jamaicaway Books, another business will move into the space occupied by Petal & Leaf, but nothing can replace it.

Reminders of the fragility of life are all around us, but it’s easy to overlook the fragility of the small businesses that are the spine of our communities—and that help make our community unique and dear to us. So, as we usher in a new year and welcome new businesses to Jamaica Plain, let’s keep close to our hearts those that have closed, and celebrate those that we have.
I know I speak for many others when I say, thank you, Cat, for all the glorious arrangements and best of luck with your new endeavors!

David Doyle
Owner, Tres Gatos
Jamaica Plain

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