Chere’ Stebbins and her husband, Corky, opened “A OK Nursery and Garden” on April 1 and are working hard to bring their new enterprise up to speed. The business is located on part of what locals know as “The Farm,” which belongs to Mike and Joyce Salatino.
“We sell honey, brown eggs, fresh you-pick rhubarb, veggie starts, and flowers to plant,” Stebbins said. “Eventually we would like to go entirely organic but that will take time.”
This isn’t the first business they have run. They also own A&A Free Junk Car Removal, based in Tacoma, but serves Key Peninsula too. “Originally we were going to start the nursery at our location next to Key Pen Highway,” Stebbins says, referring to the site where their church meets. “That’s where we sold blueberry plants in the past. And we may have some plants available there later on.”
But for the moment A OK Nursery and Garden is operating out of the Salatino farm. And that’s where Key Pen News found Stebbins, who was potting plants in one of the green houses, while pausing now and then to brush lady bugs off her clothing. “They eat aphids,” Stebbins explained. “So I try not to step on them.”
The decision to base the new business on The Farm was largely fortuitous. “We were already planning to start a nursery,” Stebbins said, “so I came up here to buy pots, and Mike Salatino said, ‘Why don’t you rent my greenhouse?’” So Chere’ and her husband did. “Mike and Joyce have been great,” Stebbins adds. “Anything we need to know they tell us step-by-step. They’re great people.”
Stebbins doesn’t have any experience running a nursery, but loves to grow things. She looks forward to making the new business a success. Asked about the other enterprises on the peninsula, and growth in general, the entrepreneur said: “A lot of people are going to need flowers!”
To find out what’s available at A OK Nursery and Garden, call 884-2360, or stop by “The Farm” just north of Charboneau’s. Business hours are Sunday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.