WHAT WE LOVE: An environmentally conscious botanic haven in the middle of the city. Great coffee and potted plants in all their gorgeous variations that can be taken home to add a little nature to urbanity.
WHO: Marie Henze and her team opened the shop in 2018.
WHERE: In Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood by the Spree.
What year was The Greens established? At the beginning of March 2019 we celebrated our first anniversary. There was a big plant and coffee market to which we invited numerous people, friends, The Greens fans, actors and artists of the “Alte Münze”, regulars, bloggers and photographers. All of them have helped us have a very successful first year.
What is The Greens genre? Coffee and Plants. We do everything for coffee and plant lovers. With us you can enjoy your Flat White with oat milk in peace and quiet and shop for plants at the same time.
How would you describe your shop? “The Greens” is not just a simple café. It is our feel-good oasis in the middle of the city at the location of the Alte Münze (a former coin pressing factory in Berlin Mitte, which was converted into an interdisciplinary and communal space for art, culture, events and young creatives). Just being a little closer to nature with indoor plants, garden plants, urban gardening, seasonal and, if possible, regional food, all paired in a cozy atmosphere. This is how we bring a feeling of nature in the big city of Berlin.
Why did you choose the name The Greens? The name The Greens reflects our love for nature and everything that is green. We try to reflect this theme in the form of food and plants. All our food comes from regional organic suppliers. Last but not least, our plants transform the entire café into a small Urban Jungle Oasis.
Who designed the shop? Since we are located at the art and culture location of the Alte Münze in the middle of Berlin, we worked together with many artists and actors on site. There were hard-working craftsmen and women, artists who have their studios here and painted the walls with their creative ideas on the subject of coffee and plants, a landscape architect who was responsible for the concept of the plants and, of course, many more helpers. Together we were able to create a unique place.
What are you famous for? Coffee and Plants. I think the combination of the old historical demeanor of the “Alte Münze” and the combination of sustainable food, drinks and plants makes this place unique in Berlin. The hard, industrial facades with the naturally growing green world.
What are the “must have items” in your shop? Our vegan banana bread is very popular, at the same time our greens battens with red beds, turmeric or matcha are very popular. Our highlight on the menu is our coffee and cactus action. For one price you get a coffee drink and a mini cactus of your choice. The ideal gift to surprise your best friend.
Where is product sourced and made? We get most of our strictly organic products from Terra Naturkost or from local producers from Berlin and the vicinity. In the summer we also have our Urban Gardening Project, which lies on the premises of the Alte Münze. It’s here that we cultivate our own herbs, wild flowers and honey. Our lunches are made fresh in our own kitchen and change on a daily basis. We often bake and cook vegan recipes.
What makes The Greens shop unique? The Greens is a café and our oasis of well-being in the middle of the city. Our motto is simple: drink coffee and buy plants!
Who are your customers? People from Berlin’s art and culture scenes and tourists who are interested in these fields, coffee and plant lovers, bloggers and influencers.
How has the internet impacted your business? It’s affected us a lot. The café became famous all over the world because of Instagram and blogs. We get a lot of requests from magazines and blogs, which are located in cities as far as New York and Shanghai. The internet helped us to gain the attention of many people.
Who inspires you? We’re inspired by all the artists and participants in the Alte Münze. We’re able to form a great cooperation that creates equally great projects and ideas.
What inspires you? Berlin offers an unbelievable spectrum of inspiration and sources for ideas.The people in our space as well as projects outside of Berlin also inspire us.
Before you were a shopkeeper, I… don’t really call ourselves shopkeepers. We’re individuals that come from many different backgrounds who have created a beautiful vision together. We’re artists, landscape architects, students and culture enthusiasts. What’s special is that we come from different areas and are able to inspire and help each other.
Did you have prior retail experience? We have a background of developing a lot of different projects in the Alte Münze. We’ve done art exhibitions, workshops, plant markets, flea markets and more.
What is your perfect day off in Berlin? We love to spend time, eat a little snack or breakfast in our little Münze Garden or other green locations in Berlin like the Prinzessingärten or the Botanische Garten. When the weather is nice it’s always worth the effort to take a nice stroll through the Tiergarten.We like being closer to nature and getting out of the gray city.
What are your top social media tips? Good photos with equally good content and aesthetic. For us it’s all about the coffee with the Café Latte Art and beautiful plants.
I wish I could...Convince more people to live more sustainable and conscious lives.
On the Future of Retail
“We see the future of retail as very promising.It’s important to preserve the direct contact to customers and to answer their individual questions directly and face-to-face. We can also present our customers with alternatives or explain how fun it is to try something new.Whether it’s a potted plant or a new type of coffee.”
Alte Münze, Am Krögel 2, Berlin
Feride Yalav-Heckeroth is a Berlin-based freelance writer and the author of The 500 Hidden Secrets of Istanbul. Her favorite shops are Souq Dükkan in Istanbul for the best of local design, Ryoko in Berlin for artisan Japanese goods, and Homemade Aromaterapi in Istanbul for 100% natural beauty products.