BARK RIVER, Mich. (WZMQ) – Spring has sprung at Tony’s Green Thumb in Bark River.
You might not know it by the size of the greenhouses, but the family-owned business has come a long way since its start in 1962.
“Tony Quist started Tony’s Green Thumb as a side road stand where he sold vegetable plants,” said co-owner Caroline Picard. “From that, it’s grown into 17 different greenhouses.”
Sixty-one years later, Tony’s Green Thumb provides a wide array of plants. Picard says there’s something for everybody, whether they are shopping for their porch, their garden, or their dinner table.
“One item here is our cucumber basket that already has cucumbers on it,” she said. “You’ll be eating fresh cucumbers in a couple weeks.”
The staff began seeding in late February. According to Picard, it can be a challenge to adapt to changing weather conditions each winter.
“If it’s really, really cold, we have to make sure the furnaces are running at top peak to make sure our flowers are kept at the correct temperature,” she said. “April is typically a hard month for us because we don’t get much sun. A lot of clouds can cause some different bacteria or issues with the plants.”
Tony’s Green Thumb is more than just a place to shop. The crew provides classes and other resources to send customers home with the skills to keep their plants thriving.
“We help people plant their very first tomato, we draw little maps on how they should plant their garden, so we give them that personal touch,” Picard said.
The layout of the business makes the greenhouse experience accessible for everyone.
“Our aisles are super wide,” said Picard. “People can come in with their scooters, they can come in with their wheelchairs, their walkers, their strollers, their wagons. The whole family–and even dogs–get to shop at Tony’s Green Thumb.”
Picard and her staff invite the community to see what’s in bloom on opening day, Friday, April 28. The greenhouses will be open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.