Photo by Jessica Keller: Kevin Cooper stands among the plants on display in his new shop, Rori Blooms, in Coopers Optique in Uptown.
Photo by Jessica Keller: Kevin Cooper stands among the plants on display in his new shop, Rori Blooms, in Coopers Optique in Uptown.

Although he has always loved plants and gardens of all kinds, accountant and business owner Kevin Cooper only recently discovered his passion for succulents and cacti.

During the pandemic, Cooper, his husband, Zac, and daughter Rori visited many outdoor gardening centers and began purchasing those types of plants. After amassing a sizable collection, Cooper decided he wanted to take his love to the next step: sharing the plants with other people, and he opened his plant store, Rori Blooms, which is located in his husband's designer eyewear business, Coopers Optique, 315 First Ave. N., in Uptown, across from Climate Pledge Arena.

"I have such a love for these types of plants, I just wanted to share it with the world," Cooper said.

Cooper said, while he knows there are other plant shops in Uptown, Rori Blooms specializes in rare and exotic succulents and cacti.

He said his goal in opening his plant shop is to target experienced collectors, but also people new to owning plants who may not know much about succulents and cacti.

"I want to teach these people how to care for these types of plants," Cooper said.

He said, with basic care and knowledge, succulents and cacti are ideal for new plant owners because they are typically hardy, don't require constant tending and are ideal for people interested in keeping plants but worried about killing them.

Cooper said he intends to make the process simple for buyers and eliminate any guesswork and hassle for buyers.

"I want people to come in and buy a beautiful potted plant," he said.

First, all the plants for sale have been quarantined, treated for pests and fertilized. Cooper personally selects each plant that is paired with a special pot and then plants it in the new container using custom soil ideal for the plant.

Cooper also has detailed instructions he gives to new buyers outlining how to care for the plant.

Cooper said his business model is also different than in other plant shops.

"I will not carry two of the same plant at the same time because I want people to come in and buy something unique," Cooper said, adding he will show a certain number of his plants in the shop at any time, with the rest staying in the apartment he shares with his husband. He said he will swap out the plants every two weeks or so until they are sold.

Cooper said, for people who have a specific plant in mind, if he does not have it in his inventory, he is happy to locate and order the plant.

Cooper said, since deciding to open Rori Blooms, he has done a great deal of research into the kinds of succulents and cacti he wants to sell. He also consulted with friend Skylar Kaylen, from the Curious Seedling, who he said was instrumental in helping him open his store.

Cooper said his plants range in cost from around $48 to over $200, depending on the rarity of the plant.

"You can't find these in every plant shop around here," Cooper said.

While his website has not yet been fully developed, he does have a web page, roriblooms.com.

Coopers Optique, 315 First Ave. N., is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.