The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

Queer Plants Cafe: Building upon a legacy

Queer+Plants+Cafe%3A+Building+upon+a+legacy
Harvey Spindor

The new lively, yet chic, Queer Plants Cafe officially opened on Nov. 7 and has worked since then to create an inclusive, all-in-one plant-shop-cafe that’s vibrant yet welcoming to all.

The space was formerly known as Miss Zumstein, owned by Anja Spence, a staple of 42nd Ave. Despite the closing of the beloved bakery in September, co-founders Ernest and Ross Koh hope to pick up where Spence left off, building upon her legacy.

“They’re young and full of energy, I knew they’d be a great fit for the neighborhood,” Spence said.

The cafe not only offers a variety of drinks, from coffee to teas, but a wide range of foods such as bagels, pastries, sandwiches and a lunch menu with salads and bowls.

“One of our main goals was to have really good coffee for the neighborhood–and also just a really good breakfast sandwich,” Ernest said

Ernest, who was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, has a great amount of experience within the food industry, from culinary school to restaurants and now as head chef at Queer Plants Cafe.

On top of their foods, the cafe specializes in finding small, unique house plants that are available for customers to buy, which tables and people are surrounded by.

Ross, who is the plant-shop manager, had been working as a gardener for the past few years, now uses his knowledge of flora to find unconventional plants, not only for customers to purchase but to design a lively, vibrant space.

“I wanted to make plant shopping a little more interactive,” Ross said. “And I don’t stock any plants that Trader Joe’s has, that Fred Meyer has; I’m not interested in selling mainstream plants.”

Regardless, it’s fair to say that the two owners have collaborated within their specialties to generate a new, distinctive spot.

“We wanted something that is approachable, that is flavorful, that is elevated, but still comfortable and recognizable,¨ Ernest said.

In terms of the community, the goal is for the space to be welcoming and inclusive to all.

“Because even though it’s Queer Plants and we’re gay, we still want it to be open to everyone and inclusive to everybody,” Ernest said. “Whether you’re an artist or you need somewhere to go to work, read–no matter what your orientation is.”

Ernest and Ross intend to persist in generating new ideas for their business, including additions to their menus, potential student discounts or events like poetry and reading nights, in hopes of attracting new customers throughout the year.

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Hattie LaPlant, News Editor

Comments (4)

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  • F

    Frida TeskeFeb 9, 2024 at 12:51 pm

    Seems like a nice place to go! i el see if the student discount would apply to high schoolers?

  • F

    fteske3540Feb 9, 2024 at 12:49 pm

    Seems like a nice place to study! I wonder if the student discounts would apply to high school students?

  • A

    AvaFeb 9, 2024 at 12:19 pm

    I love the way you told this story. I also liked how many quotes there were from the business owners, they were really able to speak for themselves.

  • H

    Harvey SpindorFeb 6, 2024 at 12:36 pm

    Whoever did the art for this one did a really good job. In all seriousness, it’s an informative and enjoyable read.