US: Med City plant nursery to expand

A new vision of becoming a more welcoming place with more plants plus coffee and ice cream is taking root at a Med City plant nursery. Nick Sargent, who co-owns the two Sargent's Gardens locations in Rochester, is in the middle of a three-phase plan to revamp Sargent's On Second to transform it into a warm and hip urban garden center.

The seed for this concept came from visiting other garden centers in Canada and the US. After seeing what others had done, Sargent decided to create a new vibe for his Rochester business. "The industry is booming. It's changing, for the better. Our customer demographic is shifting younger," he said. "This was happening before, but it exploded during the COVID pandemic."

While the center at 1811 Second St SW is bustling during this busy spring season, he is preparing for future construction later this summer. The center has already been refreshed with new flooring, and the former floral area has been removed. In preparation to expand the greenhouse and add parking, Sargent purchased the former Hick's Electric building, which is next to the garden center at 1829 SW Second St.

First, some outdoor retail will be added behind the building, with Sargent's parking taking over the ex-Hick spaces. Eventually, the building will be demolished as the greenhouse is expanded to the east and north. "We'll have vastly more space for house plants," he said. "Our true greenhouse space will quadruple, at least."

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