Business Feature: Barrett’s Garden CenterBy JOSHUA CAMPBELL,
Barrett’s Garden Center has played a leading role in making Marion County beautiful for more than 35 years, and it has been Tracie Raybourn’s pleasure as owner for more than six years.
Raybourn said she takes pride in being a true nursery, where Barrett’s grows more than 90 percent of its plants in its 15,000-square-foot greenhouse.
“It amazes me how many people that know me personally and have shopped here for years don’t realize this is a true nursery to where we grow things,” she said.
Barrett’s Garden Center is known for its geraniums, ferns and having a good, clean product, according to Raybourn. But Barrett’s Garden Center isn’t all about plants, though. The business, located at 127 Old U.S. 98 East, also has some women’s clothing, jewelry and gifts such as picture frames and decorative items as part of its bridal registry.
“We keep PJ Harlow that makes any woman feel like a queen in her pajamas, and it’s been a nice added feature to the store having that bridal registry,” Raybourn said. “Currently we have six brides, and for a small town that’s really good. We wrap the gifts and send them to the showers and do the whole nine yards.”
Barrett’s rents out palms and ferns for weddings, and its bridal registry is among the best in town. Raybourn said Barrett’s works with other florists in town to help with bridal arrangements and does a lot of funeral work as well.
“We send living plants that people can plant in loving memory,” she said.
Barrett’s has its own in-house floral designer and is always trying to stay up to date on the latest trends.
“We venture out and we have different types of petunias that you’re probably not going to find anywhere else,” Raybourn said.
Barrett’s also makes custom wreathes with different materials and sells Christmas trees alongside its winter poinsettias.
“We’re a year-round garden center versus where some people are just three months of the year and seasonal,” Raybourn said.
Raybourn said the variety of items available at the garden center sets it apart.
“Each year we build on different varieties and have what people are looking for. Variety and quality are the two main things that separates us from other people,” she said.
Raybourn had previously worked with her husband in construction for more than 20 years and was bored with her job. Owning and operating Barrett’s allows her work to constantly change throughout the year.
“By the time I’m tired of looking at this crop, in August when it’s hot we’re planting poinsettias. Then by the time those poinsettias are actually coming up and starting, we’re planting Cool Wave pansies. It’s always different, and there’s always the next crop.”
Raybourn said she employs eight people outside of herself and her husband, Billy, who helps with maintenance, and thanked them for all of their hard work through the years.
“I want to thank my extended family that works here. When you spend as much time with them as you do your regular family, they are your family. We can cat fight, but we all have each other’s back.”
Raybourn said success to her is making her customers happy and seeing the gratitude on their face as they walk through the greenhouse.
“We thank you every time you walk through the door, and we thank those that can’t come out any more,” she said.
Barrett’s plans to be able to install a system that will automatically set the temperature in the greenhouse and get more landscaping done on the premises, according to Raybourn. It is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and can be reached at (601) 736-0495.
Pictured Above: Barrett’s Garden Center owner Tracie Raybourn said having a wide variety of products while maintaining quality is what sets her business apart. | Photo by Joshua Campbell