Jun 3, 2009
Natural flair at Bee & HollyhockBy Scott WhippleNewBritainHerald.com

Berlin — Shelley Jones of New Britain said she just came in to Bee & Hollyhock LLC to buy a hibiscus flower. Then she spied natural and organic chocolate and a metal water bottle with a sports cap for $15.95.

“Dark chocolate in moderation is healthy for you,” Jones said while paying for her purchase. “And, a water bottle like this is environmentally friendly.”

Christy Miano and her mother, Pam Pethigal, say that’s how it’s gone since they opened their antique and gift shop next to Johnson Garden Center on Chamberlain Highway.

“I don’t know if it’s our personal touch,” said Pethigal, “or that our shop reminds people of what shopping was like before the big-box stores, but Berlin residents seem genuinely glad we’re here.”

Kate Fuechsel, executive director of the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, was on hand to greet the two women when they opened their shop in April.

“I like the fact that they’re Berlin residents,” Fuechsel said. “They give the place a natural flair.”

It used to be Johnson Garden Center and Gift Shop. But the gift shop part of the business changed hands over the years. When Christy and her mother had an opportunity to lease the shop next to the garden center, they moved in. The shop now operates separately from the garden center.

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