GroMart opens in EdwardsburgPublished 2:07pm Thursday, January 24, 2013
With more and more people growing their own produce, GroMart in Edwardsburg may be the perfect place for area gardeners to shop.
Opening on New Year’s Day, business has been good according to Brett Thompson, who runs the Edwardsburg store.
GroMart, which is located at 68991 M-62 Suite Q near the former Hardings Market location, provides indoor garden solutions for local gardeners, who want to get a head start on their traditional gardens or for those who like to grow their own produce and know exactly what has been put into and onto their herbs and vegetables.
“We deal with indoor gardens, so winter is our busiest season by far,” Thompson said. “A garden center’s busiest time is the summer, that ends up being our slowest time. People are outside at that point. Wintertime everyone has cabin fever. A lot of people just continue gardening through the fall and winter so they can have their tomato plants ready for spring.
“A lot of people want to grow their own vegetables in general,” Thompson said. “Gardening in general, the whole idea of that has really taken off. Things like a small container garden with a couple of pots on their patio, they might have just a little small plot in their back yard or they might be the person who has a quarter-acre garden.”
GroMart has everything the indoor gardener would want or need.
Thompson stressed that this is a hobby and like other hobbies it costs money to gets things up and running.
He added that a person could get started for around $100. That would get them a fluorescent light, seed tray, humidity dome and a heating mat.
“That’s to do it right,” Thompson said. “You can always cut corners with this, but with indoor gardening those plants depend on you. Now outdoors you can sometimes cut corners and slack off a little bit and let Mother Nature do some things.
“But indoors, those plants depend on that light that you put there for them and the water that you give them. They are solely dependent on you. There is more margin for error with indoor gardening, but again you are indoors and you have nothing else to do, so you can devote more time to it.”
The average age of people starting an indoor garden is between 25 and 55 according to Thompson, although he also had customers who are much younger and much older.
GroMart is actually a second store for Thompson and his partner Ryan Bryk. The original store is in New Buffalo and called Harbor Country Hydroponics. It opened four years ago.
Thompson managed the store for two years before opening up GroMart.
His has spent 15 years in what he refers to the “green industry.” He started out as a landscaper for garden centers and greenhouses before he got into indoor gardening.
“I got sick of the winter time because every year I got laid off,” he said. “I would get extreme cabin fever because I’m not working and I’m stuck inside. So I started getting into indoor gardening and started working with Ryan over at Harbor Country and I started getting into indoor gardening myself. I’ve just stuck with it and now I don’t even want to think about going out in those 100 degree temperatures and work anymore. I’m done with the landscaping.”
GroMart is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
You can find out more about GroMart at www.mygromart.com.