Shop a whole bunch of prickly goodness in Long Jetty with The Cacti Folk
Regardless of whether you're a plant lover or not, it's hard not to hold a soft spot for cacti. There's so much to love, from their prickly uniqueness to low maintenance lifestyle, and structural beauty, these fascinating plants are super fashionable, and now, Long Jetty on the Central Coast can lay claim to its very own cacti oasis with The Cacti Folk.
While owning a cacti or two may be the thing to do, it's by no means a new interest for The Cacti Folk owners Kim and Mitch Shailer, who have simply put their love, and knowledge, of cacti into good use to bring you this quirky little shop on the Central Coast. So how did all of this start?
“We used live in Byron Bay and we’d have garage sales from time to time. We did one last year and Mitch, who’s been growing cacti since he was 13, decided to put some of his collection out for sale and honestly within 15 mins all the cactus and succulents sold out, and nothing else did (laughs).
“That’s when we thought there maybe something in this and at the end of 2020 we started selling on marketplace, using plants propagated from our own collection. It kind of went crazy over Chrissy and at the end of January we applied for the Long Jetty Markets and things went from there."
Demand for Kim and Mitch’s plants grew so much so they couldn’t keep up using their own collection so Mitch, who is now Chief Cacti Sourcer, travelled to a bunch of growers in NSW so as to keep up with demand. Kim explained that whilst they hadn't planned on establishing a shop front, lockdown changed everything,
“I have a cleaning business and my office was in Long Jetty, and when the lease for that space came up I thought we could combine the two businesses to save money, so now the office for the cleaning business in the back and The Cacti Folk is set up in the retail space out the front.”
Word of The Cacti Folk has spread quickly with their show room attracting everyone from first time cacti purchases to landscapers wanting to source plants and seek advice.
“It’s really important to us that we stock only quality plants, we pot and mix our own cacti soil, however the space is quite small so we're limited as to how much stock we can hold, but what can't be on display we can source.”
So where does this love of cacti being, Kim explains,
“I am originally from Ireland, Mitch and I met while we were travelling in Switzerland, and growing up there wasn’t really any cactus, but my mum had a greenhouse and grew them so it started from there.”
“Mitch has always had an interest in cacti and cared for plants, but funnily enough neither of us knew we had this in common until a few years ago.”
“Now with us being based in Long Jetty, it was a no-brainer to set the business close to home, we only live around the corner and we love the area. Long Jetty is such a vibrant happening little village and great for families, we're all about family, we have three kids under five so we'll often have them here at the store helping out.”
In addition to the extensive range of cacti, Kim has introduced a quirky collection of cacti-inspired books, artwork, jewellery, accessories, even glassware and cocktails.
Word of warning... it's almost impossible to leave The Cacti Folk empty handed, whether it's the gorgeous Lactea, or a tiny Hairy Man, you will no doubt find yourself placed under the cacti spell and welcoming one, or several of these magical plants in your life.