Jim Mlynek is 57 years old and still gets to work before the sun comes up.
|Tim, Jim & Jim|
Mlynek and his wife, Jean, own Woodville Road Nursery and the Stone Yard, located at 5819 Woodville Rd, two miles past the Woodville Mall. The business is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
“I've been doing this full-time for 33 years,” said Mlynek, whose father, Tom J. Mlynek, opened the nursery in 1960. “We've stayed small. First of all, we're workers. We are experienced people working on people's homes, and we don't send out a crew that's only been here a year or two. We're hands-on people.
“I get to work between 5:30 and 5:45 every morning. A lot of times I may go to jobs, and there is always getting trucks loaded and getting the equipment out, doing paper work. There's always something to do.”
Woodville Road Nursery has remained a family business for five decades. Jim and Jean are co-owners and their son, Jim, 26, has been working at the nursery for more than 20 years.
“My cousin, Tim Teachout, has been with me for 30 years,” Mlynek said. “He is an excellent nursery man.”
Mlynek said his father, who passed away three years ago at age 80, got into the nursery business in 1960 “as a serious hobby.”
“He was a wood pattern maker (for automobiles),” said Mlynek, a graduate of Clay High School. “It was a very precise career. From his wood patterns they would make a mold, and from that mold they would create their stampings. Now the machinery does all the work.
“My dad was a Johnny Appleseed. When we were kids we would go to parks and cemeteries and pick the berries off the plants and take cuttings. He would take the cuttings and take them back home in the kitchen and strip them down and root them and grow his own plants. He also grew spruce from seeds. I remember going to Pearson Park and him getting spruce cones.”
Woodville Road Nursery now sits on 10 acres of land. Ten years ago, the Mlyneks added a stone yard.
“My son Jim is a partner with me and my wife,” Mlynek said. “We sell all different types of landscaping stone. We have 20 different kinds of ground cover stone and we sell stacking stone and boulders and flagstone.”
Mlynek said the nursery's main business remains landscape design and installation.
“We have done homes over the decades all over the place,” he said. “I've done three jobs on Put-in-Bay; in the 1980s we did many of the condos in the Port Clinton area. That's really our main business today, going out to people's homes and doing designs. We have a very large inventory. I think a lot of people are surprised at what's behind our building.”
Mlynek said his family has managed to stay in business for 50 years because of their hands-on approach and dedication to their craft.
“We've been kind of a secret here for a long time,” he said. “We get business just from our client base and word of mouth, and trying to take care of the customer has always kept us pretty busy. We have a very large inventory of unusual plants, and we're getting big into composting now. We screen our topsoil. We have beautiful compost. It's all lab tested and it's a great organic thing for your flower bed and vegetable garden.”
Woodville Road Nursery is closed from mid-November through late March and then opens seven days a week in April, May and June. Summer and fall hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. In the spring, the nursery is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.
“I wanted to stay a small family business,” Mlynek said. “We have to work a lot, so there's not a lot of moss on our boots. People who know us know we're fairly active. We take care of the community and surrounding communities with good products at solid prices, and we have reasonable delivery prices. If somebody needs it, we'll get it to them. That's the key to our survival, doing the right thing and working hard.”
For more information on Woodville Road Nursery and the Stone Yard, call 419-836-7828 or visit www.woodvilleroadnursery.com