Retail, Plant Growers & First Commercial
David & Kathryn started in 1971 in a former florist shop near the University on Main Street in Buffalo. At first, Kathy mostly did custom dressmaking, but David convinced her to stock a few exotic plants and Bonsai in the front windows. By 1973, the store became the Plant Parlour, WNY first plants-only retail store.
Our Retail Stores
For many years, we had a total of three retail stores! We helped make plants easy for everyone with Plant Care Sheets, free “Plant Doctors” advice, Indoor Horticulture Courses, and free workshops.These stores were nearly “botanic gardens” with selections of HUNDREDS of plants including truly EXOTIC plants.
Some unusual items featured in our free customer newsletter:
As well as all accessories:
In 1974, David purchased a Greenhouse Range in Lockport, NY to grow exotic plants for the stores and local wholesale market.
They quickly realized that growing plants in WNY in the height of the oil embargo of 1975 was not the most cost-effective plan, so they traveled to Florida and leased and purchased a 28-acre former mum nursery on Florida’s Tropical Gulf Coast in Bonita Springs. Over the next few years they experimented and developed techniques for growing plants that would thrive in WNY houses and offices even during our long dark winters. Including:
Botanicus (as they called their Nursery Farm) was a Family venture with members from both Kathy and David’s family involved in the Business. Even Diana and Devon, their daughters, were often working in the Nursery or Retail stores (Sand paintings anyone?)
Here is Kathy’s Family photo at the Florida Nursery in 1979. We are all wearing our “Plant Parlour – Life Assurance for Plants” T’s!!
One of our first Commercial installation and service accounts was the brand-new Wintergarden in Niagara Falls (left). Other early accounts include the Niagara Hilton, the Thruway Mall, as well as offices, restaurants, department stores, and car dealerships.The company was one of the pioneers in this new industry, and worked closely with the national organization to develop industry product and service standards.