“Farming actually goes back to my great-grandfather. My grandfather was active until he died, and my grandmother still stops by. They were pleased to see the business continue,” Serinese says.
Years ago, they called it The Vegetable Garden, which Serinese describes as a working farm and produce stand run by farmers. Then they added flowers, followed by landscape supplies. Now, there is a substantial inventory of garden gifts and accessories as well. Serinese notes that in addition to individual customers, he has built a solid business with landscape contractors and pavers.
As a seasonal business, Serinese says a lot of planning goes into making the best use of his and his employees’ time. “Half the time, we work twice as hard, and the other half, we work half as hard,” he says of the schedule.
He notes that every employee learns the whole business. “While some people have special responsibilities, all of us can jump in when something needs to get done.”
Timothy’s Center for Gardening is one of three garden centers situated within a few miles on Route 130 north through Robbinsville and Windsor. “Competition is a good thing for us. Customers know about this corridor. We draw from a much larger area because of it,” he says, adding that the prominent location is great. “We spend very little on advertising.”
Serinese says each of the centers has its own niche. “For Timothy’s, that a large selection of perennials and high quality plants. We have a lot of knowledge to offer the customer. We have a steady clientele and see the same faces every year.”
While the busiest season – mid-March to mid-June – has come and gone, Serinese says there’s plenty to keep him and his employees busy. Throughout the summer, Timothy's offers a fresh and colorful selection of plants and grows fall mums in the center's fields. The landscape supply business remains strong in during the warm weather; his staff also uses the time to catch up on maintenance projects and renovations in prepartion for the following spring.
Clearly, Serinese has put down his roots. “This is where I intend to stay,” he says. With a wife and two young boys who are already interested in “working with daddy,” the business is likely to do what a gardening center should – continue to grow and thrive.