Growing roots in Athens

Athens plant shop Kopria was founded in 2018 by friends Vasilis Nzeremes and Ifigeneia Filopoulou. Here’s how they dealt with the Covid lockdown.

‘When Vasilis and I opened Kopria there were no other plant shops in Athens, only big nurseries. We tried to create a very careful selection of plants that you couldn’t find elsewhere – there was a huge gap in the market for something like that. It was our passion.

'When the virus came to Greece, we closed the shop days before the government required us to as we felt it wouldn’t be safe for our customers. The store is so small – 45 square meters. The right thing to do was to stay home, be patient and see what happens.' 'We were just about to open our online shop, but it wasn’t quite ready yet. So we weren’t able to sell anything. Luckily, we’d chosen a neighbourhood with low rent, and when we saw what was happening we didn’t put money into buying new stock. During quarantine we have kept our plants in the store and watered them every few days. Thankfully they kept growing and nothing died.'

'We have a very loyal community that was waiting for us to reopen. Normally we’re not open on Mondays but the government said shops could open again from Monday 4th May, so we decided to do that. Without posting anything on Instagram, people turned up at the shop – we were so happy.' 'We’re now trying to build our online store, as during autumn we fear there might be another lockdown so we want to be ready. At the moment we can only have eight people in the store at one time. A lot of our friends used to come in on Saturdays and hang out, but they can’t do that [right now].'

You might like these, too