.Best of East Bay 2023 – Home Improvement

Green Peace

BLK Girls Green House brings plants and tranquility to West Oakland

In a generation of anxiety-inducing media, where the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, war and police brutality can be seen all over screens, it’s important to find a space to feel calm within the storm. In the East Bay, two local businesspersons are ensuring that there are relaxing environments like this for Black folks who have been particularly traumatized by the ongoing racism and violence committed against Black communities. 

Today, it’s more important than ever to have a place for people of color who are looking for this sense of tranquility. That’s what Kalkidan Gebreyohannes and J’Maica Roxannee set out to accomplish in August of 2020 when they opened up their plant shop, BLK Girls Green House, after their first meeting at the Black Joy Parade. BLK Girls Green House is a specialty home goods store and plant shop on Center Street in West Oakland, near the recently launched West Oakland Farmers Market. 

“Whenever you’re in Oakland, we hope that you join us and find something you love, whether it’s a plant, a gift, a cup of coffee with a friend or to just catch a vibe,” Gebreyohannes and Roxanne state on their website, describing the calming ambiance that the space emits as soon as visitors walk in. BLK Girls Green House is the spot for anyone looking for a luscious monstera, a lively fern or who just wants to grab a candle or new kitchenware. 

Open Friday-Sunday, the shop also features a coffee kiosk by Black-owned Blythe Coffee and only contains merchandise from other Black-owned businesses. In a 2020 interview with Bon Apétit, Gebreyohannes said it’s been difficult finding nurseries and plant stores that are accommodating to Black folks. BLK Girls Green House is looking to change that by providing a shop that is solely dedicated to Black joy. 

The BLK Girls Green House team has done a lovely job merchandising products for a sleek and modern household. For those who want to find a new staple for their home, or who’d like to attend one of their upcoming community events like scent workshops, follow their Instagram: @blkgirls_greenhouse.


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