After a career in commercial real estate and property management, Lisa Berlin-Solberg (pictured left) took a break. She decided to enroll in a floral design class, which led to working part-time at a florist in Lafayette. She then went back to her career while she researched how to make a living as a florist.
Eventually, she found a floral shop for sale in San Francisco’s financial district, and Urban Botanica was born. After seven years, she decided to explore opening a second location.
“I looked at around 25 locations, and this was one of the last ones,” she said from Urban Botanica’s space at the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park. “I meet Kathleen the gardener, and fell in love with the space immediately.”
Because of the San Francisco location, she already had branding and a website in place. But she says she’s continuing to get to know the Peninsula community. “We are an every day floral shop with same day delivery,” she says. “We also get a lot of requests for private parties and weddings.”
In addition to bouquets, the shop has a nice selection of interesting and arty succulents.
Nicole Marcoe (pictured right), who was Lisa’s lead designer in the City, is now with her at the Menlo location. “I’ve always loved flowers and been an outdoor kind of gal,” she says. “Along the way, I taught art and French and used to go to the Boston flower market and was in awe of the diversity of plants.
“Now I go to the San Francisco market two or three times a week. We buy local as much as possible. For me, it’s an honor to make a bridal bouquet.”
In addition to floral offerings, Lisa and Nicole will be offering workshops on floral design. The shop is open Monday through Friday; closed Saturday and Sunday.
Photos by Irene Searles