Wellness, welcome and an awareness of where things originate are the guiding principles of the Green Pineapple brand in Key West, where owner Jennifer Hulse embraces a philosophy of “conscious consumerism.”
“As a brand, we want to encourage a lifestyle of whole-body wellness and an eco-conscious lifestyle,” said Hulse, who bought the Green Pineapple, 1130 Duval St., in April 2018 and added a yoga studio.
“People are really making an effort today to understand where things come from, whether it’s the food they eat or the items they buy,” Hulse said. “And we want to encourage that. We feature clothing, gifts and home decor items made from sustainable materials and fair-trade sources, most of which are available exclusively in Key West at Green Pineapple.”
The Green Pineapple brand has grown to include not just the Duval Street boutique, yoga studio and cafe, but additional retail locations on Petronia Street and at The Perry Hotel on Stock Island. All three locations offer men’s and women’s clothing, with sustainable children’s clothes available at the 310 Petronia St. shop.
Hulse recently expanded the Green Pineapple Café, which now features the culinary talents of Chef Layla Barr, who has perfected the art of wholesome, plant-based nutrition in foods that taste as good as they look — and that actually do a body good.
The café is largely vegetarian and vegan, and all baked goods are gluten-free, Barr said.
“But I’m not going to call it a vegetarian café because that scares some people off. Besides,I’ll occasionally feature a beautiful grilled fish as a daily special.”
Hulse wants to cater to those “who want to put good things on their body and in their body to keep them strong, vital and able to do good in the world,” she said, adding that the brand recently launched its new online store at greenpineapplewellness.com.
And the symbolism behind the pineapple was not lost on Hulse when she bought the place in 2018.
The pineapple has been a sign of welcome and hospitality since the American colonists began importing the fruit from the Caribbean in the 1700s.
“Because trade routes between America and the Caribbean islands were often slow and perilous, it was considered a significant achievement for a host to procure a ripe pineapple for guests,” reports the Indiana University of Pennsylvania School of Hospitality Management. “Similarly, some accounts tell of New England sea captains who, upon returning from trade routes in the Caribbean or Pacific, placed a pineapple outside their homes as a symbol of their safe return.”
As its symbolism grew more widely recognized, the pineapple was often used to adorn 18th- and 19th-century bed posts, tablecloths, napkins and other items associated with welcoming guests.
“Between the pineapple as a symbol of welcome and the green movement today, we’re a welcoming place that supports a sustainable lifestyle,” Hulse said, adding that the Green Pineapple soon will begin hosting monthly art showcases at its three locations. Schedules will be updated on its Facebook page.
Green Pineapple Café is currently open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with expanded hours coming this winter.
The Green Pineapple location at The Perry Hotel will host a local art showcase on Friday, Nov. 13. Additional monthly art showcases will be announced on the Green Pineapple Facebook page.