Saint Paul’s egg/plant urban farm supply: a hip shop for the neo-rural renaissance
“There’s something about working with your hands, to make what you need, that’s so much better than just going out and buying something,”
By Elizabeth Millard
The Line Media
Jan. 26, 2011
Matson started the store in April 2010, after growing weary of driving to far-flung feed stores to feed her small flock of backyard chickens.
She was familiar with retail operations, having managed bookstores in the past, but left that profession to stay home with her kids. She’d pondered a shift to garden design, and earned a Master of Agriculture in Horticulture at the University of Minnesota, while working at a garden center.
While there, she noticed significant trends cropping up, most notably that customers were moving away from ornamental plants like flowers and shrubs, and instead sought supplies for vegetable gardens, canning, and composting.
After starting an urban 4-H group in St. Paul that pursued activities like community gardening and worm composting, Matson and her husband began raising chickens, and the jaunts to rural feed stores gave her ideas about what type of store she’d like to have within the city. Working with a volunteer from WomenVenture, she created a business plan and found a retail space on Selby Ave.