[EDITOR'S NOTE — Each week, this feature section, “Movers and Makers,” will feature the stories of the movers, launchers, entrepreneurs and makers who contribute to the vitality of the Mahoning Valley. This section is supported by our first community partner, Farmers National Bank.]
BOARDMAN — Lonardo’s Greenhouse recently reopened its greenhouse for the 2021 spring season, just in time to grab mom some fresh flowers for Mother’s Day.
At Lonardo’s Greenhouse, 8452 Southern Blvd., customers can choose from a variety of hanging flower baskets or flower pots for Mother’s Day, or treat mom to some homegrown produce like sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, pickles, garlic and more.
“Hanging baskets are what we specialize in,” Lonardo’s Greenhouse owner Donna Lonardo said. “A lot of people come and get [hanging baskets] for themselves and for Mother's Day. [Also] geraniums ... people love to get their geraniums and plant those [outside] and then the garden vegetables. We have a huge selection of tomatoes and pepper plants.”
Lonardo’s Greenhouse was established more than 90 years ago on St Louis Avenue in Youngstown, under the name Lonardo and Sons Greenhouse, before relocating to its current Boardman location in 1946. Husband and wife, Frank and Donna Lonardo, are third generation owners and have operated the store since 1986. The greenhouse was previously owned by Frank’s father, Art, and before that, by Art’s father, Vito.
Donna Lonardo said the greenhouse first specialized in hothouse tomatoes, but under Frank and Donna’s ownership, they added flowers and hanging baskets to their market.
Lonardo told Mahoning Matters that Lonardo’s Greenhouse is an open-air farm market with a variety of local and seasonal produce, like asparagus and strawberries, but also carries some imported produce from California and Florida to give customers a variety.
“[We have] some unique varieties [of produce] that people may not find in box stores. But as a little local place, we’re able to grow several different kinds of unique varieties that people don't find when you go to [places like] like Home Depot and Lowe's,” Lonardo said.
Can’t make it into Lonardo’s Greenhouse in time for Mother’s Day? Or perhaps unsure of which flower pot or hanging basket to purchase? Lonardo told Mahoning Matters they offer gift cards as well.
“Lots of times … maybe someone's out of town, they don't know what to get their mother … so they'll call in and we'll do the gift card for them and ... when their mom comes in, have it ready for them,” she said.
Lonardo’s Greenhouse is open each year from mid-April to early December, and Donna Lonardo described the past few weeks as the greenhouse has started up its season as “an exciting time.
“We have people coming in now, and it's a little early, but they come in now because they want to make sure that they get their baskets. [Our customers] generally have certain baskets that they like, they generally get the same baskets, maybe change up the color, but they get really excited.
“We have people who save money, like a little fund, all year so that they can come in and buy their plants. They’ll go, ‘This is my flower fund!’” she said.
Flower lovers need not fear if they’ve forgotten to save up their own flower fund this past year, because Lonardo’s Greenhouse is doing two hanging basket giveaways in May on their Facebook page.
Lonardo’s Greenhouse Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday’s 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.