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July 9, 2021

BLOOM blossoms as new kind of retail space in Westville

PHOTO | Liese Klein The new BLOOM boutique at 794 Edgewood Ave. in New Haven’s Westville neighborhood.

Buy a bunch of flowers or a jar of salsa. Sample an herbal beverage or pick up a jar of hand lotion. Rent a seat in the co-working space or attend a workshop on how to build a custom birdhouse.

All of these revenue streams are converging in one space, the new BLOOM boutique at 794 Edgewood Ave. in New Haven’s Westville neighborhood. The store celebrated its grand opening on Thursday with a crowd of city officials and well-wishers.

Owner Alisha Crutchfield-McLean calls BLOOM a “lifestyle oasis,” and she has put a lot of thought into how to make her location on a corner in a residential neighborhood turn a profit.

“BLOOM was originally just going to be a flower and gift shop, but I started connecting with people in the community and those conversations led to me rethinking what the space could be,” Crutchfield-McLean said. “I thought how can I create a community center vibe while still offering the retail component?”

A stylist who has worked for stars like Kanye West, Ludacris and Bette Midler, Crutchfield-McLean decided to rent counters within the store to brands like Chocolate Potion and feature local artisans in addition to offering core products like flowers. 

Food and drink is also sold: Eddy Caves, a mixologist at a range of New Haven restaurants, designed alcohol-free drinks featuring herbs grown in BLOOM’s back garden. P&M market on Orange Street will be providing sandwiches. 

Remote workers and others can rent co-working space at a communal table in a back room or on the outdoor patio.

“Everything is for sale in here,” Crutchfield-McLean, gesturing toward shelves of lotions, home products and clothing. She plans to sell co-working and workshop memberships to add to revenues.

Westville resident and shopper Evelyn Massie admired the selection of lotions and candles in the Chocolate Potion section, a boutique within BLOOM redolent with the aromas of essential oils. 

“It’s amazing,” Massie said of BLOOM. She was thrilled to see the decorative boutique take shape in her neighborhood, in a storefront once home to a lawyer’s office. “It’s what we needed,” she said.

Contact Liese Klein at

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