Unique Flower Shop with Products Grown on Hadley Farm to Open in Thornes Marketplace
Soft opening for Many Graces to be held from Feb. 1 to 14; grand opening on March 1
NORTHAMPTON—Many Graces, a unique flower shop with products grown on Hadley farmland, will hold a soft opening of its new shop on the first floor of Thornes Marketplace from Feb. 1 to 14 with a grand opening to be held March 1.
Rebecca Maillet, the founder, lead farmer, and creative director for Many Graces, is excited to have a local storefront for the business she founded in 2018, which has since been operating as an online center for flower and bouquet distribution.
“We can grow so many things that you could never find in traditional retail stores,” she said. “I’m looking forward to letting people see the real wealth of beauty that is possible to generate from our landscape.”
Kel Komenda, managing director for Many Graces, added, “We are looking forward to connecting to the community in a way that we have yet to have the opportunity to do. We’re looking forward to having a daily face in the community and being able to talk to people about what is involved in our work and showcase how abundant our products are.”
Many Graces will offer year-round flower subscriptions, botanical décor, cut flowers, houseplants, dried flowers, centerpieces, dahlia tubers that can be planted by local gardeners, and dried-flower terrariums. Services also include wedding and event design consultation.
Over 250 varieties of specialty cut flowers are grown by Many Graces; Maillet has an eye for that which is not typical. She grows close to 10,000 dahlias in various varieties, including the rarer orange globe, apple blossom, and verrone’s obsidian dahlias.
Also of interest in the shop, August through November, are eucalyptus and some very rare varieties of Japanese lisianthus. “They are stunning flowers and have a 10- to 14-day base life,” Maillet says of the latter plant.
Among the shop’s early harvests will be tulips. “We planted 12,000 specialty tulips in the fall, so people should be getting excited about that,” Komenda said. “I didn’t really think a tulip was an interesting flower, but the kind that Rebecca grows are mind-blowing and can get to three feet tall.”
Many Graces leases eight and a half acres of land in Hadley, growing on about half that currently. “We farm according to organic certification practices, so we’re constantly rotating where we’re planting on different fields to restore and regenerate the fields before we plant them again,” Maillet said.
As a child, Maillet’s mother took her on foraging expeditions in the woods to find things of beauty, such as unique pinecones or branches they would then craft into interesting centerpieces. She founded Many Graces in 2018 after serving as the primary caregiver for her beloved friend Ruth through a cancer diagnosis. “Flowers really were a balm to the difficulties of that time,” Maillet said. “They were the little beings that gave us beauty and hope and joy in what was an inherently difficult time. After Ruth passed away, I found myself gravitating toward flowers to stay close to her.”
In 2016, Maillet began growing flowers at Next Barn Over Farm, developing a flower CSA as an add-on to its already-successful vegetable CSA program. Two years later, she created Many Graces. Through the website, people can buy bouquets or buckets of flowers to design their own arrangements. Dahlia tubers are also available, as are flower subscriptions, through which subscribers receive a bouquet a month from May through December; the December offering is an evergreen display.
All of those products can now be picked up in the shop at Thornes.
Maillet has a master’s degree in English literature from Mills College in Oakland, California. She was working toward a doctoral degree in English literature at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, when she felt a tug toward the flower business and discontinued her studies.
Komenda holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature and philosophy from a small liberal arts school in the Midwest.
In addition to Maillet and Komenda, Maillet expects to have a team of about 10-12 staff this season, with crews for farming, retail, and weddings and other events. Several positions are open; those interested should visit the Employment page on the Many Graces website to view current job openings and contact information.
“We strive to communicate what it means to be a small business with young staff,” Komenda said. “We want to continue to support this little local economy we’ve created out of nothing.”
Maillet said, “Our success so far is reflective of all the hearts—mine and Kel’s and our staff members’—and also, perhaps most importantly, the enthusiasm and support of the community. We’re really excited to be in Thornes because we’ll get more facetime with the community that has already lifted us up so much in the last four years. We’re excited to be more present.”
To learn more about Thornes Marketplace, visit thornesmarketplace.com.
Thornes Marketplace has been the cornerstone of downtown Northampton and at the center of the Main Street shopping district for more than a century. Built in 1873, it holds 55,000 square feet of space for merchants and includes features like pressed tin ceilings and hardwood floors.