Kaw Valley Greenhouse is growing in St. Joseph.
The Manhatten, Kansas business is setting up a garden center at 4302 N. Belt Highway, in front of the old Ryan’s Steakhouse building.
Kaw Valley has one other location at 3734 Pear St. The greenhouse operator has been in St. Joseph for 10 years.
The company has dozens of stores in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. About 80 employees work in the greenhouse and distribution operations in Manhattan, with nearly 500 employees on the retail side.
According to a building permit, Kaw Valley will set up a 1,800-square-foot garden center near the former buffet-style restaurant on the North Belt Highway. There are no plans for the former Ryan’s building.
Pat and Leon Edmund started the Kaw Valley Greenhouse in 1967. Mr. Edmund was a plant pathologist at Kansas State University.
The Edmunds purchased a farm in Manhattan after the birth of their ninth child. While the goal was to buy a property to give their growing family room to play, the Edmunds stumbled upon a successful business in a broken-down greenhouse.
“Kids being kids, (the Edmund children) bugged ‘mom’ until she let them plant stuff in there,” Dan Parcel, retail director for Kaw Valley, previously told News-Press Now. “And one thing led to another.”
Decades later, the Edmund property in Manhattan is now 500,000 square feet of covered greenhouse space. Some of the Edmund children still are involved in the business.
They are only in town April, May and June, and have an entire stock of annuals, perennials, pots and baskets.