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Firmly planted: Memphis-based Terra Cotta to open plant store and makers market in St. Louis

"I think that the pandemic was a time that grew people's love for plants. And, I think the plants brought peace to people"
Credit: SLBJ
Keneisha Malone, left, and Meghan Paige, owners of Terra Cotta

ST. LOUIS — Keneisha Malone said her Memphis plant store and makers market, Terra Cotta, which she co-owns with Meghan Paige, is just the thing for these times.

"I think that the pandemic was a time that grew people's love for plants. And, I think the plants brought peace to people," she said.

Terra Cotta opened in October 2020 at 3032 Summer Ave. in Memphis.

"We just want to be a part of the community and make a beautiful space for people to enjoy," Malone told the Memphis Business Journal.

Make that spaces. Next month the pair will open a second location, in St. Louis. Malone is from St. Louis.

"So, earlier this year, we decided we wanted to open up a second store, but we didn't think that Memphis needed two stores," she said. "I love what we've done here in Memphis, and I would love to do the same thing in the community where I'm from."

Terra Cotta offers plants and items from area makers, with an emphasis on Black makers.

They chose the name, Malone said, because, "Terra Cotta comes from the definition of 'terra cotta,' which is a strong substance of the earth that is brownish in color. That describes Black people."

The St. Louis store will be located at 2716 Cherokee St., in an area that Malone describes as sort of an arts district.

"It'll get way more foot traffic than the Memphis store," she said. "Because on Summer Avenue, we're more of a destination location. Whereas the St. Louis store, people will be walking around outside."

The target opening for the St. Louis store is July 10, pending building and electrical inspections, Malone told the St. Louis Business Journal.

The Cherokee Street space previously housed Spoked Bikes & Stuff, which closed its brick-and-mortar location in fall 2018. Caleb Anthonis of Manor Real Estate represented the building's owner, WJL Companies California LLC in leasing the 2,400-square-foot retail space to Terra Cotta for three years, according to the broker's website

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