Shop Talk: Quincy General Store Offers Contactless Plant Delivery
When Kate Block was furloughed from her corporate job at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, she knew she needed something to do to keep busy. She used her time at home to turn her passion for plants into a business, Quincy General Store.
Block has always had an interest in plants, and credits it to her dad who always had plants around while she was growing up. For years she has been growing her own plants and sharing them with her friends and family. People frequently asked Block’s advice on how to grow and care for their own plants. Her mom reminded her that she had always wanted to be her own boss, so it made sense to open her own company.
Quincy General Store get its name from the Illinois town where Block lived when she was younger. Block said she herself bloomed in Quincy, Illinois and wanted to honor that with her business. The store is a Columbus-based online shop that started on Instagram and quickly grew a following and expanded into a website. Since starting her company, Block has loved interacting with other local Columbus shops and has felt so welcomed into the small business community. Block also gives back to the community by donating 10% of the sales from the first week of each month to a charity of her customers’ choosing.
The shop offers a wide variety of plants, from common to unique, in handcrafted pots. Block wanted to bring people joy through plants and knew she could do that without having to have physical contact with them. She established her contactless delivery process and now delivers the online orders to customers’ porches.
In addition to plants, Quincy General Store carries candles from local makers and ceramics. Block enjoys hunting for fun items that will spark an emotional connection with her customers. She hopes to become a gifting destination with unique paper and cards as well.
Block has discovered that people enjoy the responsibility of taking care of plants. Her first-time customers often start off with an easy-care plant, such as a snake or pothos, and then become repeat customers. The shop’s more rare plants sell out quickly, and Block is always updating her stock. As her business grows, she hopes to eventually establish a storefront with a wider selection of products.
Photos courtesy of Kate Block/Quincy General Store