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Plantiitas encourages community to blossom into their best selves

Plantiitas’ extensive selection of plants and aesthetic ambiance foster a welcoming environment for plant lovers in search of the ultimate plant oasis.

Voted the best plant shop in Long Beach amongst students, Plantiitas is a safe haven for LGBTQ+ and Latine folk as the decor of the shop reflects the identities of the owners.

To celebrate Día de los Muertos, Plantiitas built a community altar, also known as an ofrenda, to showcase Mexican culture.
To celebrate Día de los Muertos, Plantiitas built a community altar, also known as an ofrenda, to showcase their Mexican culture. Photo credit: Sam Farfan

Owners Kevin Alcaraz and Anthony Diaz’s mission is to authentically represent their Mexican heritage within the Long Beach community along with offering a space for queer folk to exist unapologetically.

“People want spaces where they come in and see themselves depicted in a positive way. In a way that’s authentic, in a way that’s respectable, that’s mindful. And it’s really cool that we’re able to share that with our community,” Diaz said.

Since starting their business from their garage in October of 2020, Alcatraz and Diaz have two Plantiitas locations established on retro row.

Plantiitas' second location is located near the corner of 4th Street and Cherry Avenue.
Plantiitas’ second location is located near the corner of 4th Street and Cherry Avenue. Photo credit: Sam Farfan

In the early days of Plantiitas, the couple had to source part of their plant selection from outside the state—even as distant as Florida. Without an established history, they were frequently denied business from nearer plant suppliers.

Although the pandemic was considered a difficult time to grow a business, the success they accumulated from their Facebook following helped them to move into their first location during the pandemic.

While reflecting on the evolution of their business, Alcaraz acknowledged the success Plantiitas has brought them.

“We are very fortunate to have this platform. It’s more than the physical growth we have received. We have grown as people, as community members and in our dynamic.”

The partners share their immense gratitude for their respective communities by hosting workshops that align with their shop’s mission.

Plantiitas hosted an inner child altar and ritual workshop that welcomed adult community members to heal their childhood trauma on Sunday, Nov. 6.

Cynthia Perez's successful workshop at Plantiitas showcases the solidarity of the Latine community in Long Beach.
Cynthia Perez’s successful workshop at Plantiitas showcases the solidarity of the Latine community in Long Beach. Photo credit: Sam Farfan

Led by founder and facilitator Cynthia Perez, Rooted in Reflection is a mental health and wellness agency that organizes community events by creating safe spaces that focus on mental wellbeing through the lens of social justice.

As a first-generation Chicana, Perez acknowledges the importance of inclusivity within wellness spaces by including her culture within her holistic approach.

As a licensed clinical social worker, Perez utilizes her experiences of being a Chicana to help others within her community to heal from traumatic childhood experiences.

"Once you&squot;re sweet to your inner child, you start to treat people better," Cynthia Perez said.
“Once you’re sweet to your inner child, you start to treat people better,” Cynthia Perez said. Photo credit: Sam Farfan

“What impacted me was having parents that didn’t feel in their power here [in the U.S.], so they couldn’t advocate for me. They couldn’t give me the time I needed, but it’s all because of social inequalities and oppression,” Perez said. “There’s this apparent disconnect so I’m really anchored in letting people know that that’s where it started.”

The nursery’s traditional Mexican decor and environment was the perfect setting for her workshop as it provided a nostalgic space for Latine community members who wanted to feel at home.

Plantiitas will continue to host events throughout the month including: Crochet Workshop #2, Queer Paint Night and 420 Meditation.

The list of events for the month of November is posted on the Plantiitas Instagram account. Registration and ticket purchases may be required to attend certain workshops.

The plant shop also offers the “Smarty Plants” discount to students, teachers and anyone involved in the education system with a valid school identification at checkout for 15% off one’s purchase.

Plant prices range from $5-$1000 depending on the size and how local the plants are to the area. Cheaper plants are more locally sourced, whereas the pricier plants tend to be more exotic.
Plant prices range from $5-$1000 depending on the size and how local the plants are to the area. Cheaper plants are more locally sourced, whereas the pricier plants tend to be more exotic. Photo credit: Sam Farfan

Whether or not customers identify with these communities, Plantiitas is a welcoming shop for people of all backgrounds who are looking to add new plants to their collection.

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