Apenberry’s is a locally-loved shop because of its beautiful plants and garden provisions, but mostly because of its creators who generously share their garden dreams
This year, more than ever, people are supporting their favorite local shops. Apenberry’s is one of mine.
Apenberry’s Part 1
Lisa Elsberry met Eric Apen at Georgia Tech. They were budding industrial engineers. Lisa, it turned out, was not passionate about engineering. She tried out a variety of jobs, most notably working in a chicken processing plant. In 1995, her passions hatched into Apenberry’s. How perfect that their combined names actually sounded like a plant. So the business with the cutest name set up shop in a cute old house located on Fairbanks Avenue. Lisa expressed her passion inside that house. She filled it with all things garden. Behind the house was a small plot filled with plants.
Although Eric had his own career at IBM, he joined the fun on occasion. One of my favorite things then were the classes they taught. Eric helped out with those classes especially the ones involving drills. Women became handy women for an afternoon making wood trellises and pergolas. After ten years at IBM, Eric joined the fun full-time.
Apenberry’s Part 2
All that goodness was too much for the cute little house prompting a move to Welbourne Avenue, where Cocina 214 is now located. This larger space allowed for an explosion of decorative items, outdoor furniture, pots, and lighting. A Christmas Open House was the highlight at this location. One night in mid-November, locals came to an evening party for the unveiling of the year’s Christmas decorations. Lisa’s flair for decorating inspired ideas for one’s own home and kicked off the season. Besides girls always like a fun night out with their girlfriends, particularly when bubbles and shopping are involved. My mother loved this event. She would extend her visit after my son’s birthday in order not to miss it.
Apenberry’s Part 3
Simultaneously over in College Park there existed a beloved nursery called Green Gardens. It was a family-owned business where the children shared their extensive knowledge with aspiring gardeners. After their long run, the family was ready for a change. They approached the Apen’s to take it over. Consequently, Apenberry’s left Winter Park behind moving to the other side of I-4. Settled into the large plot on Edgewater Drive, the focus shifted towards being a nursery. There was a little house there too, however, and Lisa filled it with garden love.
The location has changed through the years but the distinctiveness has not. Lisa and Eric are jewels in the community. Not only are they responsible for much of its beauty, they are philanthropic, generously sharing their time and talent. Countless gardeners have them to thank for keeping sane during the pandemic. The store quickly adapted to selling on line and delivering to customers when it was forced to close. Gardens have never looked so good or been better tended.
Until travel returns, I will continue to enjoy watching my caterpillars transform into butterflies in my Apenberry designed garden.
Casa V Interiors can design a house suitable for your beautiful garden.