HELLO! IT'S LUIS & RALPH HERE!
Bark & Vine started as an Instagram page in 2017 by Luis and Ralph to share their gardening experiences as new plant parents and homeowners. They wanted their adventure to be a journal for all who constantly say “I can't keep a plant alive” to remind them that green thumbs are earned, not gifted.
With their dog Coco playing and barking while they were in the garden gave them the idea for the name, Bark & Vine. Their new home quickly filled with houseplants as they naturally brought their passion and knowledge of outdoor gardening indoors. “Barks and vines? It must be home!” They recently adopted a new dog named Moss. He has definitely joined Coco with the loud barks in the garden and unfortunately enjoys munching on their houseplants.
Fast forward to a few years later, Ralph & Luis found themselves at home during the pandemic. Their free time during quarantine was spent in the garden learning how to grow all different types of plants and vegetables while cultivating their passion for gardening. One evening, Luis proposed the idea to Ralph about opening a plant shop. With Ralph’s background in retail and design and Luis’ handy work and entrepreneurial mindset became the perfect pairing that jump started Bark & Vine from the pages of Instagram to a full pledged plant business in a matter of months.
The business opened up as an online shop during the height of the pandemic in August 2020 and later moved to a brick and mortar space in New Haven, CT in February 2021. Bark & Vine quickly became a destination spot for plant lovers where they can find easy-care plants to start their plant journey all the way to more unique and uncommon plants for the plant collectors near and far.
Just as the vine grasp the bark of the tree in order to grow, houseplants rely on us to thrive in our indoor jungle.
Christine, Shop Manager
An artist and plant nerd with a culinary background. Her love of outdoor gardening turned into a passion for indoor houseplants and she's been collecting ever since. Getting to watch the evolution of growth through propagation is the best thing about collecting plants.
Melissa, Lead Shopkeeper
Born and raised in the Garden State, Melissa put down roots in New Haven in 2022. When she’s not at Bark & Vine, she works part-time as a science communicator for NOAA’s Climate Program Office. Melissa loves to spend her free time taking care of her own plants and admiring the variety of plants out in nature. Her other favorite pastimes include hiking, rock collecting, cooking, and photography
Originally from Oklahoma, Evie recently moved to New Haven in 2023 along with her 30+ house plants. Her other passion is dance, and she has a BFA in modern dance. In her free time she enjoys hiking, baking, reading, and showing her boyfriend her new plants.
As a poet and music producer, Aaron loves all things creative. Their professional background is in museums and education, but when they accumulated over a dozen houseplants in 2020, they began pursuing a career in outdoor education. Aaron has worked with Solar Youth and WAV (Wide Angle Vision) to introduce New Haven teens to green career paths. In their spare time, Aaron loves to hang out at cafes with friends, work on their backyard garden, and cuddle their cat, Spaceshuttle (named because she loves to explore but always comes back!).