This Garden Shop Makes the Holidays Even More Magical

Photography by John O'Hagan, Styling by Yukie McLean

The welcoming ambience and alluring glisten of the holiday season come alive inside Apotheca, a charming cottage-style boutique in the small town of Goffstown, New Hampshire. Owner Alyssa Van Guilder opened the shop’s doors in 2005, and since that time, the brick-and-mortar flower shop has expanded while being embraced by the community it calls home. Alyssa embodies the spirit of the holiday season year-round, feeling honored to play a role in customers’ celebrations, love stories, and everyday messages by turning them into custom-designed floral formations.

Photography by Jennifer Bakos

The talented shop owner first began fostering her love of creating during her childhood in rural Alaska. She could often be found playing in nature, crafting unique creations out of found objects and attempting to sell them at the end of her dirt drive where more caribou passed than people. An entrepreneurial spirit came naturally to Alyssa, who spent much of her childhood watching her parents run a local café off the Denali Highway, and it was there that the importance of having a sense of community developed in her. With these characteristics rooted in her, Alyssa was able to take the leap into her dream of opening a storefront and allowing it to grow while bringing together the things she believes in most.

Photography by Jennifer Bakos

Offering more than just beautiful floral arrangements, Apotheca, which means “storehouse” or “variety” in Latin, also sells candles, soaps, gifts, and seasonal goods among other carefully curated items. Alyssa’s family—who played such a strong role in the values ingrained in her and, in turn, the store—helped to transform the storefront into a budding flower shop complete with a walk-in flower cooler, full-service café, and a space to host events that further involve the public.

Photography by Jennifer Bakos

During the holiday season, the summer green space is transformed into a winter wonderland stocked full of unique varieties of Christmas trees, wreaths, and festive garlands. Carefully curated ornaments and gifts can be found inside the shop, and the Apotheca team even takes on a handful of clients to help transform their homes for the
holidays. Much like the train station it originated as, Apotheca has served as a depot of connection for everyone who enters through the shop’s doors.

Photography by Jennifer Bakos

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