By Sabrina Westfall
Burch’s Garden Center started as a small store on Main Street in Loogootee and over the last couple decades has grown to several green houses and offer more services.
Tracy Burch explained she and her late husband, Paul opened the store in 1992 as a pet food center and small garden center.
The business started as a place for the Burch’s children to work afer school and during the summer and for her to work as well.
“We started out as a pet food center and a small garden center, and kept growing each year — adding new products and services,” Burch said.
Burch’s Garden Center started in the old lumber company building at 204 E. Main St., and they started purchasing property around the building adding green houses and in turn adding more products.
“My husband Paul was the driving force behind all this. He was a visionary. He would see an old, broken down building full of cobwebs and busted windows and he could just picture in his mind what he envisioned it to be,” Burch said. “Unfortunately, Paul passed away a year and a half ago. I’ve been continuing here because I love it and it’s good therapy.”
Since the passing of her husband, Burch said the community has come together to help her in memory of her late husband.
“For instance, I can’t drive a forklift, and so if a truck came by and needed to unload a large delivery, I would call some of our friends down at Greenwell Hardware Store and they would just run over with their forklift and unload it for me,” Burch explained.
She said they were willing to help because her husband was such an incredible man.
“He judged the success of his day on how many people he could make smile … Since he’s been gone, the town, in his memory, has supported me and our business,” Burch recalled.
Burch’s Garden center offers landscaping services and spends the Spring time assisting local growers with the start of the season.
“I think after a long, cold winter, people are just itching to get started digging in the ground. My daughter gave me this little expression on my sign. It says, ‘Spring is here. I’m so excited I wet my plants’,” Burch said.
She noted she and her employees try to do whatever they can to ensure customer satisfaction.
“We try to help our cust decide if they are having trouble deciding what to plant or where,” Burch said.
While Burch’s is busiest in the Spring, they are open all year with pet foods, water softener salt, straw, bird seeds, bird feeders and mulch.
“We try to have a little bit of everything,” Burch said.