With The Opening Of Tulip, Spring Comes Early To Rhinebeck
By Andrea Pyros
It only seems as if warm weather will never arrive and we’ll still be skiing down the slopes and drinking Irish Coffees come June. But in fact, spring has sprung, at least in one small Rhinebeck spot. It’s at Tulip, a new shop that opened in the middle of the village, selling flowers by the stem, bouquets, gifts, chocolates and framed art. Co-owned by business partners Kim Cantine and Jeffrey Milstein, Tulip opened on Valentine’s Day and fills a hole in Rhinebeck’s business district, finally offering locals a place to pick up fresh flowers for hostess gifts or to perk up their own kitchen tables.
The floral expert of the duo is Cantine, and she envisions Tulip as a simple cash-and-carry shop modeled on a French flower store. Once weather permits, people will be able to walk by and pick from the bouquets displayed on Tulip’s front porch. Inside there will be more flowers, with Cantine helping customers interested in special arrangements.
“We’ll have unusual flowers that you won’t find anywhere else,” says Milstein. Prices will range from a few dollars for an individual stem, $14 for an inexpensive arrangement and then more for rarer buds.
“If people want one beautiful flower or they’re on a budget, or if they want something more elegant, there’s going to be something for everyone,” he adds. The partners are sourcing their flowers from area distributors and hope to offer more locally grown flowers as the season approaches, but year round, Cantine promises, “No cheap filler flowers!”
The pair has known each other since Cantine did work for Paper House Productions, Milstein’s stationery products company. Both were Woodstock residents for many years and stayed in touch. Three years ago, Cantine relocated to Rhinebeck (where she also works as a real estate agent), and she quickly realized that the village was lacking a flower store. She shared her idea of opening one with Milstein, who liked the idea, too. When a space opened up on Montgomery Street, both agreed it was perfect for Tulip.
“I always thought this was a really great space,” Milstein explains, “with the Greek revival front and the little porch which is perfect for putting out flowers. Even years ago, I had my eye on it.”
In addition to flowers, there’s a small, well-crafted selection of gifts — colorful vases, hand-blown glasses, mugs with Arne Jacobsen’s famous typeface, and delicious organic, fair-trade sweets from the Saugerties-based Lucky Chocolates.
Cantine and Milstein are working to add more artists to the store’s walls as well. Currently they have small botanical drawings from Accord’s Wendy Hollender and large, gorgeous prints from Milstein’s own professional photographic work. “I have a huge collection of florals I’ve taken over many years and now I finally have a place to show them,” he says. “I’ve also traveled extensively photographing National Trust Gardens such as you’d see on Downton Abbey, so we’re going to put those up, too.”
With Kim’s small business experience, time spent working at a flower shop and her past as the owner of a boutique in Woodstock, she and Milstein both were clear about their vision for the store and how to quickly get the space into shape. They’re also in agreement about their vision for what they want to offer customers.
“People feel like they’re in a different kind of place here. We’re not stuffing it with everything you can find. Items have to meet our beautiful standards,” Cantine says.
6406 Montgomery St., Rhinebeck NY
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays, later (by discretion of the owners) on weekends.
Call ahead for spring and summer hours.
Closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays