New store opens amid pandemic in response to rise in popularity of gardening

It's the very first store on Guam that is solely dedicated to gardening and it's gaining a lot of buzz. (PNC photo)

A new store has opened up on island even in the midst of the pandemic.

It’s the very first store on Guam that is solely dedicated to gardening and it’s gaining a lot of buzz.

India Sekiguchi, owner of Back to Nature Guam-Gardening and Hydroponics, saw a rise in pandemic gardening at home and felt there was a need for more gardening supplies on island.

She opened the store officially in November of last year.

“We didn’t just want to be stagnant. We didn’t want to mourn the loss of industry and we didn’t want to let our skills kind of loosen up. We wanted to stay sharp and of course, keep our employees employed. We looked around, we saw everybody turning to their gardens and we ourselves are doing the same thing. We were starting to go outside and growing and we thought, this is it … we need to open up a gardening shop and the name kind of came to us like in a flash of inspiration,” Sekiguchi said.

She added that because they are still newly established and their location is not seen from the main road, people are still discovering them.

However, they have been getting many repeat customers and those customers have been recommending them to their friends.

“The reaction has been very positive. We see people come into our store and find that, oh, there’s a place where you can get everything you need to garden. A lot of new groups have popped up on Facebook, Instagram and other social media. Of course, there have always been people on the island who garden, but a lot of them are new to gardening,” Sekiguchi said.

She added: “A lot of our customers are young … kids on Guam who may have learned gardening, not from their parents but from their grandparents, and we’re constantly being told stories like ‘me and my grandma use to grow this.’ My granddad taught me how to raise chickens and how to graft this plant and gate it so we really see it as a hopeful sign.”

Among the items the store sells are hydroponic supplies and systems, which are very popular among the younger customers.

Sekiguchi said these customers give her hope that the island would lean more towards sustainable living.

She and her husband own the wholesale company Island King Imports.

For more information, check out the Back to Nature-Gardening and Hydroponics Facebook page.