Putting down roots: Bethel Park plant store moves to new location

By Jon Andreassi staff Writer jandreassi@observer-Reporter.Com 4 min read
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Photos: Jon Andreassi/The Observer-Reporter

Ruby Flora reopened its doors Aug. 26 at a new location, 104 Broughton Road, Bethel Park.

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Jon Andreassi/The Observer-Reporter

Ruby Flora owner Lindsey Thomas rings up customers during the grand reopening.

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Jon Andreassi/Observer-Reporter

A DIY plant bar in the back of Ruby Flora allows customers to create their own terrariums, or repot their own plants.

Ruby Flora significantly expanded its footprint last weekend with a grand reopening at a new location.

The Bethel Park houseplant store originally opened in 2021 along Library Road, but closed earlier this year and moved to 104 Broughton Road. It reopened Aug. 26.

Those who shopped at Ruby Flora’s original location likely remember a large variety of plants in a cramped space.

“It was very, very small. It was an absolutely amazing store to get your feet wet in a business,” said Lindsey Thompson, Ruby Flora’s owner, adding that the size made it difficult to hold events.

“It was just so packed, it made it uncomfortable. It’s nice to have a bigger space so we can stretch out a little bit.”

The extra room has allowed Thompson to go beyond offering more plants. The part she is most excited for people to experience is the do-it-yourself plant bar in the back of the shop.

Pick a pot, pick a plant and get to making your own terrarium. The tables carry complementary decor items for those who want to spruce up their creation.

If you have a plant that is outgrowing its vessel, you can also bring it to the plant bar to repot it.

“There are so many things I learned in the little shop that I applied to this shop to make it better for customers, and easier to learn about houseplants,” Thompson said. “I wanted this to be an open and inclusive, educational-style work area.”

Thompson plans to hold workshops and other events at the DIY plant bar, and the space can also be rented out for private events.

Because of the previous location’s size, Thompson was unable to keep many large floor plants. For a plant like a large-fiddle leaf fig tree, for example, she could stock only one at a time, and it would go quickly.

“I am able now to have multiples of large plants. So I can make sure I have something for everybody, whatever day they come in,” Thompson said.

Thompson explained that prior to starting her own business, she had a job that provided her no satisfaction.

“I was working a really corporate, sterile job that, honestly, I really hated. I don’t know if there is a much better word I can use than that. I was in a sales department. It didn’t feel good. You didn’t feel very ethical, either,” Thompson said.

She decided not to return to her job after giving birth to her daughter Ruby, the store’s namesake.

Thompson stayed home raising Ruby for about a year, and in that time found the inspiration for something new.

“That’s when I started collecting houseplants, and I started finding myself again as a new mom,” Thompson said. “You put all of your energy into your baby, and you kind of lose yourself. Houseplants brought me back to being me, and gave me my own thing. Something to do for myself.”

While the new store is Ruby Flora’s second brick and mortar location, the business grew out of a greenhouse in Thompson’s backyard, and she originally sold plants on Facebook before opening a physical location.

Ruby is now 4 years old, and has grown alongside her mother’s business.

“She was the inspiration,” Thompson said.

Ruby Flora is closed on Mondays. It is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

With her new store, Thompson hopes she can bring people together and be an educational resource for new plant lovers.

“I don’t want to sell a houseplant and have people go away, and it dies,” Thompson said. “I value my whole store on being able to answer pretty much any plant question.”


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