Dear community and friends,
We are heartbroken to inform you that our beautiful light, beloved son, brother, owner, and dear friend passed away unexpectedly on September 17, 2020.
As any of you who knew Matthew could testify, he was a loving soul with brilliant energy. This energy was contagious, and drew many people towards his healing light. He left behind so much love and had such a beautiful impact on all of those close to him; the outreach and love from the community proved to us how many peoples’ lives were positively influenced by Matthew.
Not only did he leave behind such an amazing community, but also his beloved mother JoAnn, co-owner of Plant Love; his older brother Jordan, sister-in-law Elle, and his nephew and nieces, Elijah, Margo, and Nora.
There are countless other family members and extremely close friends who are all going to miss Matt more than these words could ever describe.
Plant Love Ice Cream was created and formed January 19, 2019 by mother and son, JoAnn & Matthew Matchin. Their dream was to create more than just a vegan ice cream shop, but more so to plant love in their community and watch it grow. Plant Love’s mission is to provide an experience of art, creativity, community, love, and delicious vegan ice cream for the city of St. Petersburg and the surrounding community.
After Matthew spent time living in Mexico and Hawaii, Mama Jo’s company downsized and the two started to formulate their plan for Plant Love. They left home with a mission inspired and guided by their united bond. Soon enough, the planning went underway and with a strong love between mother and son, theycreated Plant Love as you know it today.
Plant Love’s mission has always been about giving love to the community, and even in this heavy time, mother and owner JoAnn Matchin, wishes nothing more than to continue the mission of Plant Love that she and her son both began.
However in this time, following the hit of the pandemic and the loss of Matthew, difficult hurdles are still ahead. With that said, we are so grateful for the outreach and support of the community and friends of St. Pete, Mexico, Hawaii, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and everywhere else Matthew or Plant Love has impacted.
Normally we would never dream of asking for anything more, as it is such a blessing to be held up by such a thoughtful and loving tribe, but through this experience we find it very humbling to ask for help in this time of need. It is not something that we feel comfortable doing, but our hope is to continue to grow Plant Love for the community we know and cherish.
With the funds raised, we will be able to keep Plant Love growing strong, create a celebratory service for Matthew’s life, and uphold the mother and son’s original plan: to one day soon enable owner, Mama Jo, the ability to retire and step into other areas of her life, and Matthew would have taken over Plant Love. As plans have changed, Mama Jo is in need of some serious love and support to ensure that her dream of continuing Plant Love, now by herself, will come to fruition.
Also, if we are able to raise enough funds, we are very passionate about purchasing a property in Mexico to serve as a retreat center and memorial for Matthew. He always had this vision to contribute to the lands of Mexico, for his time there offered much healing and insight into his own life, and with that it turned into a very sacred place his heart called home; he always wished to give that chance back to those who needed healing.
With his passing, we knew there would be no better way to honor Matthew's life than to open this retreat center in his memory.
His intention with this retreat was about being able to offer more resources and expansion to the native's and medicine men's sacred land, and through this work, create a divine sanctuary of healing for friends, family and anybody else who is seeking authentic wellbeing.
A celebratory ceremony will be held in honor of Matthew’s journey in St. Petersburg, to remember him in joy and love, and so all those touched in the community by Matthew’s light can have a place to properly celebrate his time with us. This will be announced publicly when we have a date.
If only words could describe our gratitude for the community; thank you for helping us push this heavy boulder up this steep hill and making difficult work that much lighter with communal hands. We plan on using this financial support with great intention and will be giving back in every way that we can, especially by continuing to love our community.
We are so blessed to experience Matthew’s light bringing so many together. We know his love will forever shine, his impact will forever be honored, and his beautiful smile will remain in all of our hearts.
We will continue to strive forward in honor of our beloved; we will continue to Plant Love and Watch it Grow.
We love you Matthew, follow the light...
Watch it grow
- Courtney Dobbertin
- Mady Baker
- Carly Zehring
- Ashleigh Myers
Organizer and beneficiary
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