Plant Barn aims to keep things the same

Plant Barn Manager Baylee Hall enjoys watering flowers at the nursery in Chico, California on Friday March 17, 2023. (Jennie Blevins/Enterprise Record)

CHICO — The amazing Plant Barn was taken over by new owners last week after the previous owners retired.

Chris Hunter and Courtney Paulson Hunter took the reins on Wednesday. They plan to keep things pretty much the same. The couple also own Magnolia Gift and Garden at 1367 East Avenue and Magnolia Downtown at 830 Broadway.

“The Plant Barn has been our competitor for the past 15 years,” said Chris Hunter.

Hunter said he and his wife plan to make some changes over time and somehow replenish their unused land.

The Plant Barn is so beautiful and such a happy place. I bought a periwinkle there. The store has a wide range of vegetable and annual plants, garden “gifts” and outdoor items. The hunters want to grow native plants for both nurseries.

“It’s all about vegetables and flowers,” Hunter said. “It’s a 43-year-old vegetable and flower nursery. There are many edible and perennial plants.”

The Plant Barn opened in 1980 and currently has six employees.

Plant Barn Manager Baylee Hall waters some flowers at the nursery in Chico, California on Friday, March 17, 2023. (Jennie Blevins/Enterprise Record)

“We met the staff before we opened last week,” Paulson Hunter said. “We didn’t know her before. It was a day of imagination and excitement.

“We keep all the staff who were there. They wanted to work for us.”

The Hunters started their first nursery in 2008 with Magnolia Gift and Garden.

“We’ve been working on this for a long time,” Paulson Hunter said. “Keeping the nursery running was important to the previous owner as finding owners was important. Chris and I were up for the task.”

Paulson Hunter said all of their stores are distinctive.

“The Plant Barn and the Magnolia Gift and Garden have different identities and are both special,” she said. “Magnolia is known for its native, water-resistant, Mediterranean, and drought-tolerant plants. Pottery is also a big part of our business. We are proud that our employees are very competent.”

The Plant Barn is known for growing vegetable crops and fruit trees.

“We have loyal customers and we don’t want them to worry about changes,” said Paulson Hunter. “They respect and love The Plant Barn.”

Magnolia Downtown is a truly fabulous place and was leased for two years in August.

“We’re up for the challenge of having three spots,” said Paulson Hunter.

Paulson Hunter said both her and Hunter’s mothers are very interested in gardening and that she loves being able to grow her own food for herself and her family.

“I’m really excited to be growing my own food,” she said. “We have big plans to put our new garden into operation at the new location. I love going to my garden and harvesting dinner. It’s one of my favorite things about gardening.”

Paulson Hunter is particularly fond of flowers.

“I’m a flower girl; I love my annual flowers. I try to have flowers in my garden,” she said.

The Hunters were so happy to take on The Plant Barn.

“It’s going to be amazing and I’m so excited,” said Paulson Hunter. “It’s a real dream. We always try to keep it local. The community here is amazing. This area is fortunate to have such wonderful nurseries.”

The Hunters plan to have “a grand opening or a soft opening” later in the season, she said.

The Plant Barn is located at 406 Entler Ave. The phone number is (530) 345-3121. The opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Plant Barn can be found on Instagram at theplantbarnandgifts and on Facebook at The-Plant-Barn.

Jennie Blevins writes a business column every week. To submit ideas, suggestions, or ask questions, email her at [email protected]


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