While there are several Winthrop businesses that have stood the test of time, few have been around as long as Tewksbury’s Greenhouses. Close to Town Center, the greenhouses are located at 294 Bowdoin Street and have been going strong for 130 years.
Ashley Tewksbury- Barisano shared what it was like growing up around the greenhouse and how she took over as the fifth-generation owner.
“When I was in high school, it was a chore to work in the greenhouses, then I had my own house in Florida and I got interested in learning about plants. When I moved home in 2012, my parents were going to sell it after they ran it for 25 years, but I asked them to let me try running it.”
The rest is history. Since then, Ashley has added a fall season to the greenhouses, supplying the community with 12-inch patio mums, cabbages, fall pansies, pumpkins, cornstalks, kale, and hay bales from Labor Day until Halloween.
“In the past, the greenhouses have only been open for spring plants, but I decided to add fall and it’s been great so far.”
Since she opened for fall on September 11, Ashley has already had to replenish all plants twice.
“My parents taught me everything and when you do make mistakes, you learn from them,” said Ashley, who is now teaching her 4-year-old son Brayden about the greenhouses. “He loves greeting customers and watering rocks.”
When Ashley learned that the greenhouses were considered essential during COVID, she was grateful that she could open back up and has expanded her offerings for customer convenience. She now offers curbside pickup and deliveries for those who can’t go out. And if a customer needs window boxes planted; Ashley will get the job done. Since COVID, she has had to be more strict about having multiple shoppers at once so she requires an appointment before visiting the business. Thirty-minute appointments can be made Monday thru Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tewksbury’s Greenhouses opens at the end of April or early May with a plethora of herbs, veggies and perennials until July and again after Labor Day until Halloween. “When I saw that we were on the essential list I felt so blessed that we were able to open. I started making appointments and requiring masks and everyone has felt safe. The community has been such a big support and it’s so fun to hear people tell me stories about when they came to the greenhouses when they were children.”