When Sherry Eichberger originally penned her business plan for an environmentally-conscious and healthful shopping destination, she knew it had to be in The Heights. But fate led her in a different direction — she opened One Green Street in the Plaza in the Park Shopping Center near Buffalo Speedway and Westpark Drive in 2010.
Two years later, this entrepreneur is about to fulfill her initial plan.
"In my mind, we are coming home," Eichberger says.
One Green Street will be leaving the Kroger-anchored plaza by the end of the month and resettling in a charming bungalow at 3423 White Oak Dr., in what used to be the Artful Corner. The corridor has enjoyed much gentrification with restaurants like Tacos A Go-Go, D'Amico's on White Oak, Salé Sucré, the good ole Onion Creek, retailers like Heights Vinyl and right around the corner, Revival Market and Urban Western.
"I want to become part of the neighborhood, a place where people can stop by, relax on the porch, have a glass of wine, a cup of tea, participate in one of our classes and visit us during special events."
"We thought Kroger was going to be a good anchor for us, but people who are grocery shopping aren't boutique shopping at the same time," Eichberger says of the original location. "When I started to think about my future with One Green Street, I wanted the flexibility to do more than what I do could in a strip center environment."
The 1920s-built home — surrounded by beautiful Victorian-style residences, one which recently sold for $700,000 — is what anyone would expect for the area. Perched in a corner lot with a mature magnolia tree, the siding facade has a traditional front gable crowning a large covered front porch. Inside, the four rooms retain their original hardwoods, trimmed doorways, stamped 9-foot ceilings and a cozy boxed window seat.
Though the chimney was previously sealed, it's the ideal spot to showcase an EcoSmartFire clean burning bioethanol fireplace.
Each room will be dedicated to one of Eichberger's focus areas: Full circle fashion, healthy home, whole body and gathering place (housewares). That would be products from Tasc, The Community Cloth, W3LL People, Dr. Hauschka, Elvis & Kresse, Urban Junket, jewelry from JPeace and Monique Weston and like-minded vendors.
In the kitchen, an eco-pantry will be added — with organic coffee, teas from Thia McKann's The Path of Tea, chocolate, kitchen utensils and bamboo dish towels, next to an educational display that focuses on the negative effects of plastic and suggested solutions, including glass bottles, reusable sandwich bags and lunch box systems.
The move is a savvy business decision that both reduces operating costs while opening opportunities for more mission-based programs.
Other than paint, which she will acquire from New Living, Eichberger will need very little investment as nothing needs to be retrofitted to accommodate One Greet Street's needs.
Though the square footage of the new location is less (1,092 square feet compared to the current 1,900-square-foot shop), the partitions and wall space will enhance merchandising and render One Green Street's offerings more visible to the socially-conscious shopper.
Add on top lower rent and the move is a savvy business decision that both reduces operating costs while opening opportunities for more mission-based programs.
"I am working on talking to many of the businesses in the area to see where we can collaborate," Eichberger says. "I want to become a part of the neighborhood, a place where people can stop by, relax on the porch, have a glass of wine, a cup of tea, participate in one of our classes and visit us during special events."
In addition to continuing to host trunk shows, cooking classes, re-purposing workshops and cosmetic consultations, Eichberger wants to set up a community garden in the future. A bike rack incentive will offer discounts to anyone riding to One Green Street. She envisions outdoor lawn parties with live music from local bands, food trucks and artists.
One Green Street's last day in Plaza in the Park is July 28, a soft opening in the new spot is set for Aug. 7 and a big grand opening bash is on Aug. 25.
Eichberger's story will have come full circle. And in thinking about that, she remembers the two friendly neighbors who lost their battle with cancer. Those two neighbors initially inspired the shop.