Blooming Coast’s Ana Prado Shares Her Favorite Sonoma County Spots

The founder of the popular floral business shares some Sonoma County highlights, from plant and clothes shopping to the best mole enchiladas around.

Sonoma County native Ana Prado of Blooming Coast inherited her beloved grandmother’s extensive collection of orchids and other indoor plants in early 2020, just before pandemic lockdowns.

“The plants were my connection to her, a living piece of her, and I just thought, well, I’d better learn to take care of them,” says Prado.

Turning that new love into a business wasn’t initially top of mind. Prado, who joined the Marine Corps after high school, started her Instagram account simply to share plant tips and photos. Soon, though, it evolved into a business, becoming a fixture at farmers markets and eventually expanding to craft fairs throughout the Bay Area.

“People will come into my booth and joke that they’ve got a black thumb,” she says. “But I believe anyone can keep plants alive and get the benefit of becoming closer to nature.”

Here are some of Prado’s favorite spots in Sonoma County.

Prado scans the racks for national park and nature-themed T-shirts at Holee Vintage in downtown Santa Rosa. Just a few doors away is Ooh La Luxe, where the vibe is that of a fun girls’ getaway and the salespeople are always ready to “hype you up.” Holee Vintage, 529 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. 707-919-0995, Ooh La Luxe, 517 Fourth St., Santa Rosa. 707-521-9090,

Pink flowers bloom on a rhododendron at Hidden Forest Nursery near Sebastopol. (Christopher Chung/The Press Democrat)
Pink flowers bloom on a rhododendron at Hidden Forest Nursery near Sebastopol. (Christopher Chung / The Press Democrat)

Wandering the shady, tree-lined paths at Sebastopol’s Hidden Forest Nursery is a magical experience, says Prado. She also recommends its classes on mushrooming and how to harvest and roast bay nuts. 3970 Azalea Lane, Sebastopol. 707-823-6832, 

The mole enchiladas at Quiote are some of the best Prado has ever had. “Like, did my mom make this? Is she hiding in the back?” she jokes. 121 Kentucky St., Petaluma. 707-7746130, 

Jalisco-style Chicken Enchiladas with Mole from Quiote in downtown Petaluma, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)
Jalisco-style Chicken Enchiladas with Mole from Quiote in downtown Petaluma. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

Prado loves the work by muralist MJ Lindo-Lawyer near Mitote Food Park in Santa Rosa’s Roseland neighborhood. “I’m a Latina and a veteran, and to see that young girl stand up and show her power speaks to me. There’s strength in knowing who you are and where you come from.” Near the corner of West Ave. and Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa. 

Find Blooming Coast at the weekly Wednesday farmers market and some of the Saturday markets at the Luther Burbank Center in Santa Rosa. For updates, check or Instagram @blooming_coast.