Business: Blossom Hill Nursery
Market Days: Sundays in Marina
Products: Perennials, Annuals,Succulents, Outdoors, Grasses, Hanging Baskets and Ground Covers wholesale plants from their nursery! Grown with natural light and acclimated outdoors to create strong, long-lasting plants.
City Business Production is Conducted: Watsonville, CA
People: Larry Castronova, the owner and main caretaker, and his son Gary have succeed in this thriving, 40-year old family business. Gary has childhood memories of loading pumpkins into the flat-beds of trucks and selling the last of the Poinsettia a few days before Christmas. Larry, “a do it all kind of guy,” as described by his son, enjoys working with his hands and construction, “he’s built houses,” says Gary in between helping his customers. Gary, himself, enjoys an active life like mountain biking, or just sitting outside drinking a cold beer.
Business History: Having saved his money to start his business in 1974, Larry majored in Horticulture from Cornell college. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, Larry moved out here in ‘72, from there he began shaping his business into the flourishing nursery it is today. The patience and care that is put into their plants proves the longevity of their business. Because they do not use gas heaters, and allow time to adjust into the outdoor climate their products are healthy, where in commercial stores “they may look good for a week, but don’t last long,” explained Gary.
Sourcing: Larry grows from seeds, cuttings, and seedlings at their local, five-acre nursery.
Personal Note: Gary says he knows the products are good because people keep coming back for them. They look nice and the nursery grows all year round. He says the business returns to the basics, and is successful that way.
What motivates you to do this work? It is great working outside and being in the nice fresh air. It’s been a good business; it pays the bills and beats working in an office! And green is good!