Sugarloaf Gardens in Sunderland holds soft opening

By CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer

Published: 03-31-2022 5:07 PM

SUNDERLAND — With April showers expected to bring May flowers, residents have a new opportunity to buy those flowers, trees and more at the recently opened Sugarloaf Gardens.

The garden center, which takes the place of the former Sugarloaf Nurseries at 25 Amherst Road (Route 116), held its soft opening Thursday morning as General Manager Dan Ziomek and his staff were laying out plants and getting ready for business. In the early stages, Sugarloaf Gardens will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from March to November.

“We still have a lot of plant material waiting to come in,” Ziomek said. “We’ll be very well-rounded.”

The garden center was purchased by Snow & Sons Landscaping. Ziomek said the goal of the nursery is two-fold, as it provides Snow & Sons a location to locally source its landscaping flowers and plants, while also providing a place for people to purchase their own individual flowers.

“Snow & Sons uses a lot of plant material and (was) looking for a way to source it,” Ziomek said. “At the same time, we want to take care of local customers.”

Ziomek, who has 32 years of experience working at the Hadley Garden Center, was brought in to help run the operation for Snow & Sons.

“I said ‘Yes, this is what I love to do,’” he said. “One thing about Snow & Sons … is they dot all their i’s and cross all their t’s.”

As of now, there is no storefront, which Ziomek said is a project to be pursued in the distant future, and not all of the plants are available yet, but Sugarloaf Gardens is open for business nonetheless. Once the storefront is created, Ziomek said the business will be open all year.

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Ziomek said the plan is to have a wide variety of trees, perennials and annual plants available for purchase, as well as a range of landscaping and gardening resources like mulch, manure and compost. Seasonal materials will become available over time as well. Plants are sourced from as close to Sunderland as possible, but Ziomek said growing conditions sometimes prompt the business to get plants from other states where they grow faster.

The location on Route 116, Ziomek said, is a huge boost for the business, too. He envisions a lot of people looking over at Sugarloaf Gardens while stopped at the traffic light at Sunderland’s main intersection.

“I think it’s a great location,” he said. “I think we’re going to do well here.”

With everything in place, Ziomek and his staff are excited to help people pick the best plants for their property.

“All we need is some spring weather,” he added.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.

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