A family-owned nursery business is re-opening — albeit at a smaller scale — in Port Coquitlam in time for gardening season.
With Art Knapp Plantland closing down on 1300 Dominion Ave. to make way for a car dealership, a smaller retail store called Art Knapp Living will open in a 5,000-sq. ft. space in Fremont Village.
Rose Vander Zalm said her new store will be a “boutique” shop catering to Tri-City gardeners and will offer annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs in an outdoor area.
But it won’t be the same size as the former Art Knapp Plantland, she said.
The plant selection will be curated, with some specialty plants, while the store will also feature home décor and fashion — items that customers came to appreciate at the former Art Knapp.
An e-Commerce store will also open up so people can purchase their items online, a move that was underway prior to COVID-19 and the sale of the Dominion Avenue property, Vander Zalm said, noting e-Commerce is crucial for businesses to stay relevant in today’s competitive marketplace.
“It will be a lifestyle store. That’s my hope,” Vander Zalm said. “There will be home décor, fashion will be back, house plants, pots, limited garden supplies — the essential kind of things — and the outdoor nursery will be a limited area.”
While many were disappointed that the larger Art Knapp nursery shut down, Vander Zalm said the idea for the new Art Knapp Living grew out of the demise of the company, which had been in Port Coquitlam for 30 years.
Staff at the original store will be re-hired, Vander Zalm said, and the same family-friendly vibe will be at the new store, in the Dominion Triangle.
Vander Zalm said she found the space over the summer and worked with the developer to obtain a lease; the next step is to obtain city permits to do indoor construction.
The new store, at 180-820 Village Dr., off Lougheed Highway, could be open as early as April although the e-Commerce store will open sooner.
Vander Zalm said she’s excited to be in the newly developed part of Fremont Village, near Walmart, and in the same area as The Hive climbing centre, which opened last fall, and new restaurants that are launching such as a Portuguese-inspired restaurant.
“I’ve very excited about the new business and the partnerships around me,” Vander Zalm said.
The store opening comes as gardeners look forward to planting season and the provincial government is looking at ways to promote bees.
A new round of funding is being offered to community groups working to save bees.