‘Just like grandma used to grow’: garden center returns to roots

On the outskirts of Murray, Beans to Blossoms, a locally owned garden center, re-opened its doors in February for the spring season to provide its customers with organic plants and seasonal produce.

Steve and Suzanne Cathey dreamed of owning their own business, so in 2001 with the help of their daughter, Lindy McManus, the family opened a nursery on their farm in Bethel.

As the business grew, McManus said they needed a more convenient location and additional space. The business moved closer to town in April 2010, allowing more room for growing at the farm, McManus said.

McManus graduated from Murray State with a degree in horticulture and helps her parents run the family-operated business.

Plants “just like grandma used to grow,” the tagline for the business, are available at the garden center. Grown from organic seeds with organic materials, their produce and many of the plants are grown without pesticides, McManus said.

When the season is slow, one family member will run the store and the other two will work at the farm, McManus said.

At the farm they also produce organic soap, compost and their free-range chickens provide eggs. Both the soap and the eggs are sold in the garden center. Although the business is no longer certified organic, McManus said striving to be natural is still a priority.

Their seasonal produce is sold in the garden center as well as at local farmers markets.

Some may fear buying organic produce because of high prices, but the prices at Beans to Blossoms are comparable because there is no middle man, McManus said.

“Our customers either trust us or they don’t,” she said. “We are honest with them and will tell you whatever we use to produce our products. We want you to know.”

Fruit trees, bushes and herbs are featured during the early spring season while the 25 varieties of Heirloom tomatoes germinate, McManus said. The produce from these trees and heirloom plants grown at the farm are then sold at the garden center.

The family business also reaches out to the families of its customers with a gardening club for children, Little Sprouts Gardening Club. The club meets once a month to learn about gardening through crafts, McManus said. Children become official Little Sprouts with a membership card and the business recognizes the parents with a discount card.

With more room to grow on the farm and a larger garden center close to town, the family-owned and operated business plans to continue to thrive growing things like grandma used to.