The Cactus Store in Echo Park is something one needs to experience in person. I can’t explain quite how surreal it feels to be in a space the size of my kitchen, tiptoeing through a maze of cinder blocks with terra cotta pots balanced on top of them… each filled with incredibly beautiful and SUPER STABBY cacti. We’ve all heard of being the bull in a china shop, but this felt more like you’re a piece of china walking through a shop of bulls! One mis-step and those cactus thorns will get you!
Perhaps they too also realize you can only really experience in person, since the website gives you little info (or imagery) of what you will find there. It in fact looks more like a site that is channeling the 90’s internet - with flashing backgrounds and bold colored basic fonts and blocks… though the main background is a google maps street view of the desert in Chile. But their HotCactus_LA Instagram will give you a bit more of a peek into their world if you can’t make it in person. According to Gardenista - “The tiny 350-square-foot store is run by a group of a cactus collectors, enthusiasts, and friends: Carlos Morera, (a graphic designer and alum of LA-based Commune Design), along with his uncle Johnny Morera (legendary nursery man and cactus wizard) and four more friends (Jeff Kaplon, Max Martin, Greg Passuntino, and Professor Christian Cummings).” Some of these guys are also behind Help Ltd., a local design studio. They don’t stock just any cacti - there seem to be amazing stories behind the places they source them all and the team is incredibly knowledgable about all things cacti. A collector and plant lover alike will be enamored by the world they’ve created. Now if only their space expanded and we got a chance to see their amazing greenhouses and studio spaces too!
Take a look on the next page for a peek inside the store! I couldn’t help but walk away with half a dozen gorgeously simple pots for my ever growing garden too!