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Timing and conditions ripe for Denton Plant Factory's opening, owners say

When customers walk into Denton Plant Factory, a bright mosaic of color greets them. Large gerbera daisy baskets, salvia, and dianthus populate the front section of the nursery for now, but the varieties are rotated regularly, making room for new life as more plants come in. As guests make their way to the back of the space, they exit through a garage door to an oasis of shrubbery, fruit trees, and other plants stretching across an ever-expanding green space on the 4.2-acre property.

With almost 1,000 plant species in stock, just under 25% of the space has been filled, Zmolik said. “I think in our vision, we saw a space this big [as being] kind of what Denton needed on this side of town,” Zmolik said.

Having formerly worked with the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility to restore native plant populations and briefly in landscaping, Zmolik has a long relationship with all things green. He studied, among other things, biology at the University of North Texas, though he ultimately left before graduating.

Zmolik and Fuhrmann, who both grew up in the Denton area, met while working at a local nursery together in 2019, Fuhrmann being a longtime outdoorsman with a background in landscaping. The pair discovered they both had an entrepreneurial mindset, and the concept for Denton Plant Factory was born.

“I’ve always wanted to start a nursery, and then Simon came along, and it was kind of the perfect yin to my yang,” Zmolik said. “I’m good with the plants — the financial parts, you know, it takes me a long time to learn that — so having him here has worked out perfectly, and we make a great team.”

The two originally planned on waiting a few years to take the plunge and start their own business, but when the former Zimmerer Kubota & Equipment space became available, the timing seemed right.

“There was a huge demand last year — with 2020, everyone’s staying at home and working in their gardens, the demand for plants went up, so we decided to kind of ride that wave,” Zmolik said. “And in the midst of doing all that, the snowstorm happened, which killed off a lot of people’s plants, creating an even higher demand.”

And despite the continued effort, it may take to get the shop where they want it — both in terms of inventory and services — the duo say they aren’t slowing down anytime soon. “It’s been a lot of hours here and a lot of hard work, but very much worth it,” Zmolik said. “It’s a labor of love.”

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