A history of Van Thomme’s Greenhouses past, present, and future…
In 1963, Blase and Eleanore Van Thomme had the opportunity to rent this 40 acre farm. We named it Van Thomme Produce, as we planned on growing vegetables to sell at our roadside stand. We had planted a small field of pansies to sell at the Detroit Eastern Market.
In the spring of 1964, people had seen those beautiful pansies and stopped to buy them. About half of those pansies were sold at the farm. The rest went to market. We had built a small greenhouse to start vegetable plants for the field. Later those plants were picked and sold at our stand.
In 1965 we built another small greenhouse to grow some flowering plants to sell with our pansies. Almost all were sold at the farm. We continued to increase our flower growing as they sold well. Every customer walked out with a smile.
In 1967, we purchased the farm and continued growing until 1977. At that time we were so involved in growing flowers that we discontinued growing field vegetables and the name was changed to Van Thommes Greenhouse. We expanded into year-round flower production…spring bedding plants, fall hardy mums, potted plants for Thanksgiving, Poinsettias for Christmas, and Easter plants. We have tried to serve the public as best we know how and we are proud of our operation.
Our three children always worked with us and today we are going strong with the help of Debra, Dan, and Carol, along with wife, husband and their children. It’s truly a family affair. Our children have pretty much taken over now. They are always researching new and exciting varieties to grow along with the older heirloom varieties. We now have about 25 greenhouses encompassing about 100,000 square feet of growing space. We grow an acre of outdoor potted plants and 30 acres of pumpkins, gourds, squash, Indian corn, and corn stalks. For Christmas time we make wreaths, garland, grave blankets, and many other Christmas items. We put on special events each year and will continue to serve the public with pride and quality in the future.