Stores With Stories: Daddy’s Plants
Billy and Pat Sandora-Nastyn, a married couple, opened Daddy’s Plants in 2019 in a former warehouse where they’ve created an “oasis,” a welcoming space with a bank of windows overlooking Niagara Street. Their shop flows into the neighboring business, the florist Wildroot Floral. Daddy’s Plants occasionally host small events in their space, plant-focused educational talks, and creative/maker evenings.
Daddy’s Plants began as “a pop-up oasis,” says Billy, his career path inspired by his horticulturalist father, and many visits to nurseries and greenhouses as a kid. Pat says “Our proof of concept was positive, and we listened and observed what got people excited.” Teeming with lush plants of many species and sizes, the shop also features beautiful plant accessories, like pots (many locally-made), and gift items. They’re open five days a week, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
“When we were ready to leave New York City, we wanted to stay on the East Coast in a city that would be welcoming and friendly, says Pat. “We knew Buffalo was a welcoming place for gay people, we knew it was kind of on the upswing of cool stuff happening, we knew the community was here, and it all kind of worked out really well. When we moved here, I definitely felt like the gay community was friendly, but also just the Buffalo community was friendly – I never really felt awkward. You know, as a queer person you always tend to have your guard up a little bit, but I’ve always felt very safe.”
He adds, “We’ve had folks come in here, different generations of gay people, that have just been like, “Wow, this is so impressive, I never would have been able to do this back in the day.’ We don’t plaster a million signs everywhere, but the identity of the business is pretty queer. I think people are just happy to see that there’s a business that can exist that way and still attract a really wide variety of people.”