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Bermuda Green Thumb transplanted to Devonshire

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Jay Benoza, left, and Eugene O'Connor at Bermuda Green Thumb in Devonshire (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The new owners of a popular plant and nursery supplies business are off to a rousing start.

“Maintaining stock is our challenge – things are flying off the shelves,” said Eugene O’Connor, co-owner of Bermuda Green Thumb with Jay Benoza.

The enterprising pair took over the former Brighton Nurseries from Eddie and Mandy Simas in February.

Mr O’Connor and Mr Benoza formerly operated Bermuda Green Thumb – The Plant Shop in St David’s. That operation has closed.

Of their new venture, Mr O’Connor said: “In six months of growth, we have surpassed expectations from where we thought we would have been.”

He said the clientele who patronised the St David’s locale have followed Green Thumb to Devonshire.

Mr O’Connor added: “Most of our clientele weren’t from the east – we had island-wide people because what we offered was not on the island.

“Cactus and succulents are what we were known for – and are still known for.”

Stoltzfus Export and Supply, Green Thumb’s main agent in Pennsylvania, and Bermuda’s BEST Shipping are keeping the supply chain in gear.

Mr O’Connor said: “We have been getting containers weekly, if not twice a week.”

Staffing has increased since the takeover. Including the co-owners, and counting both full time and part-time workers, Bermuda Green Thumb now has 14 employees, up from eight in February.

Next month, Mr O’Connor will attend a trade show in Atlantic City.

He said: “That is a big thing to us due to our growth. I will be out there sourcing new products because of the demand – our clientele is requesting it.”

The new owners have made a series of changes to the operation, including renovating and expanding the propagating area, where they grow local endemics, hedges, woody plants, perennials, and seedlings.

They have also added two greenhouses to create a germination sector, have created a succulent house featuring succulents and cacti, and have expanded the outdoor retail display to showcase products.

Mr O’Connor said: ‘We have staged a lot of areas. I feel like we are selling more now in front of the store than we do on the rest of the property just because everything is showcased.”

A retail shop features a wide range of goods from local vendors, including organic fertiliser, soil additives and seedlings from Yard Farm, seedlings from Harrington Hundreds Farm, Adirondack chair pillows and aprons from Irene Creations, wooden birdhouses, trellises and orchid baskets from Robin Marirea, soy candles by Coco Aroma, mosaic pots by Miss Sylvia, and fertilisers and compost teas by Malachi Troy.

Bermuda Green Thumb is holding a “family fun day” on Saturday from 11.30am until 3pm to mark the grand reopening and relaunch of the two-plus acre site on Brighton Lane in Devonshire. The event is sponsored by Barritt’s, the beverage company.

Activities will include raffle prizes, pony rides, face painting, henna and glitter tattoos, food from the BBQ, and drinks.

The day will also mark the launch of a “charity shed”, where customers can pick up bird or fish food in exchange for a donation to the Feed the Lambs charity.

The “shed” is a walk-in aviary built by Mr O’Connor’s father, Eugene Sr, and will house more than 30 parakeets, aquatic and indoor plants, and a pond containing tilapia, goldfish and other freshwater fish.

Saturday is also the first day of revised opening hours for the business.

It will now be open year-round Monday to Saturday from 8am until 5pm, and on Sundays from 9am until 1pm.

Enrikae Parsons of Bermuda Green Thumb (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
The retail store at Bermuda Green Thumb (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
The retail store at Bermuda Green Thumb (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
The retail store at Bermuda Green Thumb (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
The retail store at Bermuda Green Thumb (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published August 29, 2022 at 8:00 am (Updated August 30, 2022 at 8:06 am)

Bermuda Green Thumb transplanted to Devonshire

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