Michelle Alfaro has been an uber enthusiast of plants and herbs for her entire life. Thus, she and business partner Mag Rodriguez recently launched a leafy green business, Maranta Plant Shop, that hosts monthly pop-ups at local restaurants, businesses and residential communities. They will also offer U.S shipping services and local plant delivery in November.
Maranta's first pop-up plant sale takes place Sunday, Nov. 1 at Zocalo Food Park, 636 S. 6th St. at noon. This event is a touchless experience and pre-oder only. Masks are required.
Pre-order your plants here: www.marantaplantshop.com
Maranta's first plant pop-up collection includes Calathea Pinstripe, Monstera, Silver Satin Pothos, Snake plants and a ZZ plants.
"For as long as I can remember I have had profound respect and passion for our relationship with the earth via our connection with plants," says Alfaro. "Plants bring life home, they purify the air, and have even been proven to lift people's mood."
The idea for the business is rooted in the coronavirus pandemic and the reality that people are spending more time at home and therefor focused on making safe and welcoming spaces. When the pandemic started, people reached out to Alfaro for help with buying and growing house plants, and one of those friends was Rodriguez.
"He has almost a decade of entrepreneurial experience and he brought up the idea to me about selling my own plants in a conversation. This led to us doing research, building relationships with nurseries and then this past September we finally decided to just go for it," says Alfaro.
Alfara sees a strong connection between plants and her ancestral roots. "As someone who is Caribbean and Central American – and my partner who is Mexican – our family history is connected to plants," she says. "I love being in the plant community because there aren't enough people who look like me in this space and I hope I can inspire more Black and Brown people to reconnect with plants and benefit from the positive effect they have in our lives."
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.