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Molbak's from the dead in Woodinville

While Molbak's Garden and Home store may have recently shut down, owners now say it will bloom again in Woodinville. However, the fruits of its labor will be a bit different.

Goodbye home and garden store. Hello Green Phoenix Collaborative at Molbak's. But to make it happen, the collaborative is asking for Molbak's fans to pitch in some funding.

"Green Phoenix Collaborative will transform our long-time home into a transformational community hub for all things gardening, green, and climate-friendly," the collaborative's website states. "There will be a wide range of programs, classes, and events and lots of different ways for people to get involved."

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Molbak's Garden and Home store first set up shop in 1956. Woodinville grew up around it. In recent years, the family-run store collaborated with a developer to reimagine the downtown area, but in late 2023, a drama emerged between the two parties. Molbak's alleged they were kicked out of the project. The developer said otherwise. Each party pointed green thumbs of blame at each other. Molbak's ultimately decided to close up shop.

Now, about two months after it closed, Molbak's officials say the business will evolve into a new operation.

The Green Phoenix Collaborative at Molbak's is essentially a community gathering space centered on gardening and related themes. Organizers say this new endeavor will be "built on the heritage of Molbak’s," however, the approach will be different. The operation will have five areas of focus: products, services, education, inspiration, and innovation.

This means the property will host pop-up stores for gardening products and plants; seasonal farmers markets and festivals; a community garden; classes and workshops; programs for kids; space to sample local wines, beers, and food. They also plan to produce podcasts and online classes. Molbak's says it plans to be at the same property "for the next few years."

To do all this, the collective is asking for contributions. It aims to raise $2.5 million by May 9. Its Indiegogo campaign states that if 10% of Molbak's customer base contributes $125, they can reach their goal.

If they fail to reach their goal, all money will be returned to folks who pitched in. The collective says it's already put $1 million to "pre-seed Green Phoenix Collaborative." It wants more funding to hire workers and fund its programming.

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