Alpine Garden & Gifts
An interview with Kathy Matranga, co-owner of Alpine Garden & Gifts and A Cut Above Florist.
Entrepreneurs Kathy & Mario Matranga know talent when they see it. As the former longtime owners of the popular bar and live music venue, Patrick’s II in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, the Matrangas have traded in booking musicians to hosting artisans. The Chamber recently sat down with Kathy Matranga to learn more about their business, Alpine Garden & Gifts.
When did you open Alpine Garden & Gifts, and what inspired you?
Matranga: Alpine Garden and Gifts was opened in November 2013. We retired from the nightlife business and sought out a quieter life here in beautiful Alpine. I have been a florist for most of my life, so the transition to a plant nursery was very easy. I also ran another local gift shop, so I had experience selling antiques and gift items. A few years before launching Alpine Garden & Gifts, I established A Cut Above Florist, specializing in a variety of services. That side of the business continues to thrive and blending a florist into our nursery has been a natural fit. Besides all of the wonderful things you’ll find at Alpine Garden & Gifts, we offer wedding consultations, holiday home decorating, and personalized custom flower arrangements.
What is your favorite part about running your business?
Matranga: Mario and I love the variety and freedom of running our own business. One day we are behind the counter taking care of nice people and the next, we are picking out plants or hitting estate sales. Every day is an adventure!
What is something people may not know about your business?
Matranga: We like to tap into the creative talents of the local people. Whether they are making jewelry, building furniture or re-purposing vintage items, we like to give them a venue to sell their wares. Our monthly ‘Vintage Markets’ are a good opportunity to see what this mountain community has to offer. The market is held one Sunday a month and features 10-15 additional vendors, live music, and a café cart with coffee, pastries, and treats. Also, every year we import fresh cut Christmas trees from an exclusive farm in Oregon. These trees are gorgeous and incredibly popular in the community! We always run out!
Do you have any advice for home/garden enthusiasts?
Matranga: Growing a garden can take a bit of a commitment but it is well worth it. Surrounding yourself with the beauty of plants and flowers is a very healthy, relaxing hobby. Start slow, learn and enjoy!