Open Wed-Sun 10a to 5p   |  510-387-9744  | 


Suzanne Howard-Carter, owner and manager

Suzanne is the new owner of Oaktown as of January, 2023

Suzanne took the helm of the Good Ship Oaktown in early 2023 as former owner and propagation wizard Kristen Hopper elected to retire. Suzanne has an extensive background in retail, retail management, nursery management, and degrees in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and a Certificate in Landscape Horticulture from Merritt College in Oakland. The work of growing quality native plants is labor intensive and could not be done without the help of interested co-workers, and Suzanne is dedicated to keeping up the quality and consistency Kristen started back in 2002.
In addition to being plant-obsessed, Suz is mom to a gigantic teenager (Nate, age 17) two cats, has been married for about 30 years to Matt and is mom to shop cat and excellent mouser Meatloaf.

Nursery Workers

A blonde woman is smiling, looking at the camera while holding up a piece of paper with flowers she pressed showing.

Violet Thorns

Violet has worked at Oaktown for 10 years! She is a Clinical Herbalist with over 600 hours of training. She is a long-time apprentice of herbalist Stascha Stahl, and a graduate of the Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine's Four Month Intensive and Advanced Programs (2018-19),  as well as completing Wild Current School's Clinical Mentorship Program and Advanced Clinical Skills Curriculum (2020-22). She has taught classes on holistic herbal medicine at the California Institute of Herbal Studies, UCSC's Cantu Queer Cultural Center, and for the Ancestral Apothecary School. Other iterations of her plant nerdliness are: years of study at the Merrit College Horticultural Department, native plant landscaping, botanical drawing, and 11 continuous years of cultivating squatted gardens. Find her clinical practice at and on IG @witchcraft_apothecary 

Birch Starr-Reid

Birch is a horticulture student at the Peralta colleges. They are particularly interested in botanical poisons, food stability, and the ways that plants and people shape each other. Outside of the plant world, they practice martial arts and dance.

Adder Schlosser

Born and raised in so-called Berkeley, CA, Adder began working at Oaktown Nursery in 2019, bringing their experience and knowledge of botany and ecology from their years of work in restoration.

Nursery Workers (Non-Human Species)


Baby began her career as a professional greeter and big nursery helper in 2021. She loves to play with other dogs, give kisses, and eat snacks. You can find her napping in the sun, chasing after a ball, or grazing on grass.


The newest addition to the crew! Don't let his old age fool you, he has lots of pep and more attitude than anyone else in the shop. He will love you forever if you give him treats and gentle scritches.

Bees and Wasps


Butterflies and Moths

Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria