Open for Business: From grocer to gardener, Twin Cities shop celebrates more than 70 years in business

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Surrounded by fall foliage, shrubbery and flowers, Casey Lartz finds his sense of purpose rooted in his family legacy of entrepreneurship. 

“Seventy-one years ago, my grandfather came from Kansas and decided to open a small fresh fruit and vegetable stand here at the corner of Main Street in Bloomington, Illinois, which was at the time the Historic Route 66,” said Lartz.

“Everyone in my family always worked seven days a week, 24 hours a day it seemed. Grandfather actually slept during the day and was up at night.”

casey lartz

Three generations later, his family has since pivoted from groceries to gardening with Casey’s Garden Shop and Florist. Lartz now serves as the president there.

He said, “I feel completely blessed. I really feel privileged to be part of this family.”

While what the store offers has changed over the years, Lartz’s love for the legacy remains the same. 

“Absolutely felt I had a choice. Even my father felt he had a choice. We were just kind of drawn by it because it is a family atmosphere. It’s always around you,” he said.

It’s a place that brings Lartz peace in the midst of stress. He said through the decades, his family’s work has always been about connecting with the community, even during difficult times.

Lartz said, “One of our emphasis prior to this was always relationships and those relationships even during the COVID times are still here. So we still have customers that call us and wish us their well.”

Lartz is optimistic about the future. His hope is to continue educating his customers. 

“I only see a brighter future for it, in terms of more and more people becoming aware of plants and the power of plants and having plants in their lives,” Lartz said.

Casey’s Garden Shop and Florist is located at 1505 N. Main St. in Bloomington.

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