Photos by Mary Cate Long
When cruising down PCH, it’s easy to miss the little flower shop tucked away on the side of the road right across from Duke’s, but Cosentino’s has been a part of the Malibu community for nearly 50 years.
Cosentino’s is a little shop that sells plants and antiques. From the moment customers pull up to the shop, the vintage aesthetic and homey decor provide a unique environment in which customers can peruse little spiky succulents, potted orchids or shiny knick knacks.
The shop specializes in orchids and succulents, but that is only the beginning of what Cosentino’s has to offer. The shop is full of a myriad of vases, various decor, floral arrangements and other plants. Cosentino’s has a wide selection of pre-potted and arranged plants and flowers but will also take more individualized orders.
In regards to price, Cosentino’s offers a broad range of selections.
“We have orchids for $25 to $50 to $400,” said owner Josephine Cosentino. “We want to fill every price range. I don’t want anyone to feel like they don’t have enough money to spend here, and we pay just the same attention and care to the small orders as we do to the big ones.”
Josephine and her husband, Joseph Cosentino, founded the shop in 1973 when they moved from New York City with their five children. The Cosentinos are first generation Americans. Their ancestors emigrated from Italy to New York City.
“I think that a big part of our success is that we have always been a family business,” Josephine said. “At every one of our stores, we always would have a family member there.”
It is this family-run, community-based element that sets the shop apart.
“We personalize business and take good care of our clients,” John Cosentino, son of the owner, said. “In today’s world, everything is assembly line. But for us, we know our customer’s name, their family, what they like. And there is value to that. We are old school.”
Josephine Cosentino even told a few stories about a client who gave her a blank check and trusted her to fill out the correct multi-hundred dollar amount. Or, in a role reversal of trust, Cosentino told a story about how she lent $50 to a couple who forgot cash and wanted to go enjoy a few drinks at Duke’s.
“Our customers are more than customers, they’re our friends,” Cosentino said.
The Cosentino family has not only provided flowers and antiques for Malibu, but poured into the community in a variety of different ways. For example, John and Marco Cosentino are partnered real estate agents in the Malibu community. Joie and Tommy Cosentino oversee the running of the flower shop and family nursery. The family even has a strong link to the Pepperdine community. Lauren W. Cosentino, Chief Human Resources Officer at Pepperdine, is the daughter-in-law of Josephine Cosentino.
“It’s more than just a business, our roots are in this community,” Cosentino said. “Once there is a trust factor, it shows you the advantage of a small business. We earned [our customer’s trust] by treating them like friends.”
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