New downtown garden shop hopes to nurture plants and community

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 3, 2017

By Jessica Coates

SALISBURY — Karen Moore says that her heart is in downtown Salisbury.

“I remember walking around downtown as a child and visiting all of the shops and walking with my sister to Woolworth’s and eating at the little lunch counter that they had and going to Zesto’s,” Moore said.

That’s why, when she moved back to Salisbury after decades of living in South Carolina and Florida, Moore immediately started looking for a place to open up a shop downtown.

She said that pickings were slim for the first year and a half that she was looking. Then she found her current location at 105 W. Innes St.

“This one just kind of fell in my lap. It’s kind of like God just gave it to me and said, ‘Here you go,’” Moore said.

Moore opened up her store, called Sparrow’s Nest, last Friday. The store sells new and vintage home and garden accessories.

Moore said that she has been a gardener for “years and years.”

“I love to get in there and work with the plants and see something grow and nurture it. I love that nurturing feeling. And see something blossom because of the work that I put into it,” Moore said. “Plus it makes my house look pretty.”

Sparrow’s Nest will also sell handmade goods from local artisans.

“I really want to support the local artists and bring a lot of artisan-type goods in here. Birdhouses and wind chimes and the wreaths and that kind of stuff. And I think, by us supporting each other — you know, ‘shop local’ kind of thing — then, by doing that, it kind of connects us all,” Moore said.

Moore said that one of the main reasons she opened a shop downtown is because she wants to help reestablish the community connection that she remembers from her youth.

“I had a sense of belonging and a sense of caring, you know? People were so friendly and I knew everybody. It was a sense of family and, like I said, of belonging. Sometimes I’m afraid that Salisbury is losing a little bit of that,” Moore said. “And so I want to bring a little bit of that back, you know? Where we all know each other and we’re visiting each other’s shops and each other’s homes.”

She said that she’s already felt that sense of community with the neighbors and friends who helped her open Sparrow’s Nest.

“There was a lot of work that needed to be done to the building. You know, the landlord was nice enough to paint the front façade. And then we added the awnings and the flower boxes. You know, just trying to beautify it,” Moore said. “And I think it came out pretty good.”

Moore said that Salisbury city staff and a neighboring business, The Brown Eyed Suzy, were also a huge help to her.

Moore said that, with the amount of help that she was able to get to start her own business, she doesn’t know why so many storefronts downtown are vacant.

“Because the city was very kind in giving grant monies to help beautify. And maybe people don’t know about that, but they helped me a lot in beautifying the front of the building and helped my landlord with the painting. I think that we really need to work on that though, getting businesses down here,” Moore said.

One of the ways she plans to do that is by bringing more color and life into downtown — starting with her stretch of West Innes Street.

“I think we can do that through trees and flower boxes, flower pots hanging from street lamps. I think, as people see it transforming, they’ll want to be a part of the downtown community,” Moore said.

She said that her building, which used to house Dee’s Alterations, is an example of what can happen with a fresh coat of paint and flower boxes out front.

“It’s amazing what a little bit of creativity can do,” Moore said.

Sparrow’s Nest’s holiday hours are 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday until Christmas.

For more information about the store, call 704-209-4590 or email

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.