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Turning a new Leaf: Flower/gift shop helps to revitalize Akron’s West Hill neighborhood

Turning a new Leaf: Flower/gift shop helps to revitalize Akron’s West Hill neighborhood

For the Beacon Journal Mushrooms, blueberry vines and even small not-yet-ripe tomatoes have ended up in Akron florist Matthew Caleb Moore’s designs.

Now he’s arranging for his flower/gift shop — Leaf Home and Blooms — to bloom in a much bigger space, and hopefully, he says, help to revitalize the stretch of West Market Street in West Hill.

“There is a lot of potential here,” Moore said, noting the more developed Highland Square commercial strip just a little west on West Market.

Leaf, previously called Every Blooming Thing, will move in early November to 449 W. Market St. in the site of the former longtime Stagecoach Antiques store.

For now, while that space is being renovated, Leaf is operating out of the bottom of a house tucked behind the onetime antiques shop. Leaf moved to West Market from 1079 W. Exchange St., a little more than a mile away, late last year.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan plans to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the new location Nov. 10.

“We are hoping we spark development here… connect this part of West Hill with Highland Square more and create a walkable part of the city,” Moore said. Location transformation

While there is some work to be done on the inside of the former Stagecoach building, it has been transformed from a cluttered antique store into an airy, modern shop.

A skylight has been installed to allow natural light in for the plants that Leaf sells. Directly underneath the skylight is a large Audrey ficus tree that will not be for sale; it’s a permanent part of the decor

Pine slats cover the walls and the floor is now polished concrete. Two large front windows have replaced four smaller ones. Wood tables — including those with natural edges — give the place an organic look.

“I love creating space that’s comfortable and exciting,” Moore said. “Part of the whole mission of this store was to create a space that people want to hang out in.”

He came up with ideas of what the space should look like, and his father, Mark Moore, an architect with FMD Architects of Fairlawn, did the design work.

Moore, his husband, Michael Davis, family members and Alex St. Clair, a Leaf floral designer and sales associate, did much of the renovation work. Expanded gift offerings Moore, 31, took over the flower shop in July 2016, changing the name to Leaf and significantly boosting the gift portion of the business.His husband, a landscape architect, designed Leaf’s lotus logo that is on the shop’s bags and cards that go with floral arrangements.Today, Leaf is what some call a “lifestyle” retail spot. Along with flowers and plants, it offers soaps, table-top gifts, candles, dish towels, pillows, jewelry and more.About 30% of the the gift items are made locally and the rest are “things we want to show Akron,” Moore said.The new spot is six times the size of the old location, allowing Leaf to greatly expand its gift selection. Revitalizing West Hill Sam DeShazior, the city’s deputy mayor for economic development, […]

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