Rochester Business Flourishes as Plant Purveyor
In many ways, the world has changed this year. Through all the turmoil, it sometimes feels like few things have remained the same. However, some have – for instance, nature. The world outside has remained virtually the same. The grass is green, trees are growing and flowers are still blooming. According to Suetta Shirk, owner of Whispering Spring Greenhouse in Rochester, bright and beautiful flowers have been a source of inspiration to many people this year.
Whispering Spring Greenhouse has provided Shirk with an opportunity to teach her seven daughters about strong work ethic with a hobby-based business.
“There’s always something to do, like fill pots before they go to school,” Shirk says. “It’s something new, it’s real fun, and gives them an energy boost to get out there. We’re always learning, so that makes a difference too.”
Since starting the greenhouse in the spring of 2019, Shirk says it has been a wonderful family activity.
“We just made a leap of faith, made some orders, and had some fun,” Shirk says. “The first year was a little bit of a shot in the dark because it was new.”
Although it was challenging to start a business, the venture has been successful.
“Then it was COVID-19 – we didn’t know if it would affect our business or not,” Shirk says. “It did, but in a positive way. People were out and found us.”
As Shirk looks to the future, she has every intention of opening for a third season.
Shirk sells annual plants that are suitable both for flower beds and as decorations inside homes.
“We do a few perennials now and then, but not a lot,” she says.
Shirk also sells fall flowers including colorful mums, as well as the tri-colored relatives of the mum known as mumbos, and cut flower arrangements.
Every summer, the whole family participates in deciding which plants will be part of the next year’s greenhouse inventory.
“It starts again with the catalogs, and everyone is so enthused about what they want to buy,” Shirk says. “It’s sort of a game. We always find something new that we’d like to try. If a lot of customers ask about a plant, we make a goal to order it next year.”
The Shirks see their business as a way to bring the hope of spring to their customers – a desire that they included into the greenhouse’s name.
“We start in the winter when it’s kind of grey and cold, and then we think about the greenhouse,” Shirk says. “It’s like a breath, a taste of spring. It seems to whisper that spring is coming. That’s sort of how the name came about.”
Visit Whispering Spring Greenhouse at 5176 East State Road 110 in Rochester. You can contact them by calling 574-224-6931.