Plant Party at Hy-Vee West Circle

Employees at the West Circle Hy-Vee turned the store’s Market Grille into a temporary art studio for a unique event designed to build business by combining food, drink and a simple do-it-yourself project.
The idea worked so well, the staff is already planning an encore.
The store’s first “Plant Party” let guests design and assemble a decorative terrarium while they enjoyed a glass or two of wine and snacks from the Market Grille menu.

“When we noticed that these plant parties were trending in the Rochester and Twin Cities areas, we knew it was something we needed to try,” the store’s human resource manager, Annie Oelkers, said. “Our floral team took the concept and ran with it to make it their own.
Organizers limited to class to 20 people. Spots filled up not long after word got out on the store’s Facebook page.
“We charged $40 per person to make their own masterpiece,” Oelkers said.
Guests enjoyed $7 bottles of wine, $4 mixed drinks and half-priced appetizers as they crafted their terrariums. The supplies –– colored sand, pea-rock and hand-picked succulents –– were set up at work stations in advance.
“It all went seamlessly,” Oelkers said. “They took their time adding the sand colors, pea-rock and handpicked succulents to make a terrarium perfect for them. We will definitely be doing this event in the future. We already booked another private party of 10 that would like to do that class and are looking into more dates for this summer.”
Attendees expressed interest in similar activities involving herb gardens and flower pots, “so those ideas are also in the works,” Oelkers said. “It seems that our customers are always looking to try something new and create those memories with friends and family. They like to grocery shop outside the box.
 “So that is what we continue to give them.”