“He was the grower in the back and she worked the retail in the front. He was a firefighter and they ran the business on the side,” said grandson Keith Berns, who purchased the business with his cousin, Scott, in January 2022. The Bernses just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary and still live at the Yankee Road location.
“We are the third generation owners,” he said.
In 1978, land was purchased on Greentree Road for a landscape center with future plans to build a garden center in the future. In 1983, in Berns Nursery and Landscape Center was opened on the site. The landscaping professionally designs and installs residential and commercial landscapes.
Keith Berns said he “grew up” in the greenhouse purchased by the Berns corporation in 1985 on South Main Street for expanded growing capacity. The South Main Street greenhouse and Yankee Road greenhouses have been rebuilt and expanded to combine for over 120,000 square feet of production which specializes in growing bedding plants, vegetables blooming hanging baskets, garden mums, perennials, and poinsettias.
The Greentree Road Garden Center of Berns was opened in the spring of 1996. The main store has 10,000 square feet of retail space; a greenhouse with 12,000 square feet of plant display and an outside covered shopping area of 22,000 square feet.
Best of Butler County 2023 winners
“We (like other locally owned greenhouse in the region ) are set apart from the big box stores, because of the local families that run them. We all have our own niche. The way I look at it, as long as the shoppers are shopping at the independants they are going to be successful with their plants and that’s what we want, for gardeners to be successful,” Keith Berns said.
Berns is a great one-stop shop for all departments, whether it be trees, shrubs, perientials, vegetables, annuals or a gorgeous hanging basket for the porch.
“We try to be really, really good at all of it,” Keith Berns said. “We try to give an experience. It is easy to shop and everything flows from inside to outside.”
In 2011, Berns expanded outside of Butler County opening a second retail in Beavercreek, Ohio.
“Not quite as big as the store here in Middletown but it is catching up fast,” Keith Berns said.
He said thanks to all the voters, “it has been a great spring.”
See the winners of Best of Butler County 2023.