Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Queen of Green

The Queen of Green

A new store caters to the green lifestyle.

Owner Nancy Tran inside her new store that stocks environmentally friendly products. Photo by Brian Francis. (click for larger version)


May 14, 2009

Nancy Tran recently opened Green Central Station in Birmingham’s Lakeview district because she had grown weary of searching local shelves for certain hard-to-find environmentally friendly products. “My store is here for my convenience, and I thought I’d share it with the community,” says Tran, laughing. “Plus, it’s a great way to meet chicks.” Billed as a neighborhood general store, its stock consists of environmentally friendly products such as soaps, non-toxic natural cleaning supplies, dog and cat toys, rain barrels, biodegradable bamboo planters, and recycled toothbrushes made by Preserve. “When your toothbrush wears out, you mail it back to the company and they crush it up and make new ones out of the old ones,” she explains.

Also featured are refurbished vintage bicycles and various thrift store-type treasures such as a pink acoustic guitar and assorted lamps and desks. All-natural snacks, locally produced honey, and Blue Sky natural sodas are available. For outdoor types, water bottles equipped with a built-in filter allow safe drinking from streams or lakes. There are even soy candles (“guaranteed to burn longer and cleaner, with a lead-free wick”) and certified organic cotton candy.

But the picnic accoutrements really stamp the store as original. “I’m a closet romantic,” Tran admits. “I want to reintroduce the art of picnics.” Displayed on a patch of green Astroturf are picnic supplies for sale or rent: pop-up wooden picnic tables, picnic baskets, and picnic trunks complete with wine glasses, plates, and dining utensils. Croquet and badminton sets, the ideal complement to any weekend outing, are also available for rent or purchase. Tran is so smitten with the notion of “picnicking” that she even offers her companionship. “If you want to rent some picnic supplies but have no one to go with, I’ll go along for free.” &

Green Central Station (202-4056) is located at 2717 7th Avenue South. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The store offers delivery within a four-mile radius of the shop.