Seeds of Growth: The Early Years of Verdin’s Farm and Garden

March 18, 2024

Nestled on 300 Lucas Avenue in Laurens, South Carolina, Verdin’s Farm and Garden reflects the resilience and passion of the Verdin family. Established in the fall of 1992, this family-owned business has grown from its humble beginnings into a thriving agricultural and gardening center.

Background and History: A Journey Rooted in Family and Agriculture

Danny Verdin’s family boasts a rich multigenerational agricultural history, originating from Simpsonville before embarking on a journey that saw them migrate first to Woodruff and then to Laurens.

Danny’s deep-rooted connection to agriculture was apparent from an early age, a trait that flourished during his tenure as an agricultural policy analyst in Governor Campbell’s office, beginning in the spring of 1987. In this capacity, he crisscrossed South Carolina, engaging with farmers and agribusinesses, which kindled a fervent desire to establish a Mom and Pop business akin to those he encountered.

Danny and Kim Verdin married in 1987 and staying in Columbia was not in their long term plan. In 1989, they began coming home on weekends, procuring shrubs and flowers from nurseries in the Midlands to sell locally. This venture took place in front of the rock wall of their historic home, marking the inception of their journey into the farming and gardening business.

The pivotal moment for Verdin’s Farm and Garden came in the fall of 1992, coinciding with the closure of the FCX Farm Store in Laurens. FCX Farm Store, an institution in the local agricultural community, shut down around the same time Verdin’s was established, creating an opportune moment for the Verdins to step in. Business picked up significantly as Laurens residents, who were otherwise traveling to their Woodruff location, flocked to the newly opened Verdin’s Farm and Garden within months of the FCX Farm Store’s closing.

Joe Gresham and his team from Joe Gresham Realty, along with their first banker Robin Todd at MS Bailey & Sons in Laurens, played instrumental roles in making this transition happen. They facilitated the introduction to the Sharpton Family, who owned the Cox Brothers Gulf Service Station that was closed. Members of the Cox family and the Sharpton family, whose grandfathers operated the Gulf station for decades, still frequent or trade with the garden store in the same building.

One of the initial attractions set up by the Verdins was a pecan cracker on the sidewalk, even before they had anything else to sell or sign up. Within one day, word got out that they were cracking and shelling pecans, which became a tradition they’ve continued ever since.

Despite encountering challenges, such as the removal of gas pumps where Danny and his brother Andrew experienced a minor electrocution incident, the Verdins persisted and quickly gained traction. Their first customer base consisted of employees from the nearby JP Stephens plant, who became regular patrons, along with clients familiar to Danny through his father’s veterinary services.

The Verdins’ determination and resilience propelled Verdin’s Farm and Garden to become a cornerstone of the Laurens community. As they navigated through the initial stages of their journey, little did they know the remarkable growth and evolution that awaited them in the years to come.

“In the soil of perseverance and the seeds of passion, Verdin’s Farm and Garden blossomed from humble beginnings into a thriving testament of familial dedication. From Woodruff to Laurens, our journey is rooted in hard work, community, and a love for agriculture,” said Danny Verdin. “Every challenge we faced was a steppingstone towards growth. Amidst pecan crackers and echoes of ancestors, we planted the seeds of our legacy, nourished by community support and family commitment. Our story is just beginning, but our roots run deep, promising resilience and success for generations.”

Part Two will delve deeper into their expansion, innovations, and enduring commitment to their community, showcasing the next chapter in the Verdin family’s remarkable story.

Stay tuned for more!

Click on the images in the photo gallery to enjoy a look at the earlier years of Verdin’s Farm and Garden Center including the family getting ready for the Laurens Christmas parade and more.