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Roger Reynolds Nursery closes after 97 years

Original post made on Sep 4, 2013

After 97 years in the same location in Menlo Park, Roger Reynolds Nursery & Carriage Stop "has closed its doors for the last time," owner Sally Halstead said Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 12:44 AM

Comments (25)

Posted by whatever, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 1:49 am

Well that just ruined my morning.

Oh well, to paraphrase Francis Bacon -

Gardening is the purest of human pleasures. Web Link

Thank you Roger Reynolds for the pleasures.

Posted by old timer, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 8:17 am

Too bad this icon of the community has closed.

But more to the point, will be the for sure development of the property into more office / housing. If we knew what was going on behind the closed doors with the City Manager / Staff, I am sure our eyes would be opened to still another high density development.

Posted by Gern, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Sep 4, 2013 at 8:37 am

A very big loss for this community, to be sure -- my family spent many a happy afternoon wandering the nursery grounds and typically buying a few items each time we visited. Sympathize with 'whatever' in that this pretty much ruined my morning....


Posted by common memories, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 4, 2013 at 8:52 am

Blessed that I was able to wander thru the nursery with my kids looking for veggies to pick out, checking out the fish hiding beneath the water plants, etc...

Bummed for future families that will miss out.

My 2nd favorite garden supply spot behind the wonderful Common Ground in PA.

Posted by Wow, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 4, 2013 at 10:39 am

I remember going to the old Roger Reynolds with my dad when I was a kid. At the time they were on El Camino Real just north of Encinal. The clerks all wore smocks and there was one old lady clerk who always had rainbow lifesavers in her pocket for the kids who came in.

Great memories. Sorry to see them go, but then I must admit it's been years since I bought anything there,

Posted by weekend gardener, a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Sep 4, 2013 at 10:41 am

I spent thousands of dollars over the last few years. I did my share! There is no garden store like RR -- a small but lush park where you could shop. Just walking around the grounds was relaxing, and I never left empty-handed.

Pity they didn't give any notice so we could all enjoy a final visit. Plus there are a number of customers now stuck with useless credits.

What next? High density development, more offices, maybe some housing, increased backups at what is currently the least-gridlocked train crossing. Too bad for all of us in so many ways.

Posted by Betsy, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Sep 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

What? No warning? What are they doing with all the inventory? I shopped here for 30 years- one of the last mom and pop places to disappear. Any recs for another homey plant nursery in the area?

Posted by Jim Owens, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Hey, old timer,

I'm an old timer as well who hates to see so much change and will miss
Roger Reynolds greatly but we do have to stop fiighting high density.
We do not live in the country anymore !! Our desire to fight high density has
Just created lots of urban sprall. I miss the orchards and open spaces but it's
all gone because we all want our space. Truth is we Re running out of spa e
and need to stop being selfish and realize we cannot continue this sprall.

Posted by Kelly, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Oh no, my youngest just started kindergarten and I had big plans to get over to Roger Reynolds and into my garden more! I will miss the tradition of shopping there!

Posted by Saddened, a resident of Portola Valley: Ladera
on Sep 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Always sad to see the mom and pop's leave after so many years as a community fixture. After moving from Menlo Park, we found the Ladera Garden Center in the Ladera Shopper (run by a wonderful husband and wife team) every bit as friendly (albeit a bit smaller) as Roger Reynolds. Check out the Yelp reviews and the 12-15 minute drive at to Alpine Road will feel well worth it.

Posted by Janet, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 12:39 pm

So sorry to see Roger Reynolds Nursery will be closing shop--very sad to lose another Menlo Park icon. Now I'm worried about who the family is selling the property to and what monstrosity will wind up there. I hope they save the redwood grove at least.

Posted by Lydia, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Fond memories of either shopping or wandering in and among the plants. Also have fond memories of Edy's Ice Cream/Candy shop. The ice cream sodas and sundaes were great regardless of the flavor. One fond memory is my dad coming home on Valentine's Day with a huge heart-shape box of candy for my mom. Surprised her and certainly please us. So good.

Thank you for the wonderful years of memories. Will miss you all.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Does anyone recall when Edy's was at RR? I do recall when it was at Town & Country.

Since I mentioned their closing in another thread yesterday, I'm really glad that it was followed up with this information.

I am sure that the 140k stolen from RR hastened their closing. Is it possible that that Evette Weiler has repaid the money by now?

I also echo many of the sentiments in this thread. My family was very disappointed last night when I told them.

Posted by pearl, a resident of another community
on Sep 4, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Very sad. Our family enjoyed shopping there for almost 30 years. Sorry to see them go. Thanks, RR, for all the fun times we had shopping at your wonderful nursery!!! ; )

Posted by Old Timer, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Sep 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm

We stopped shopping there when they screwed up special orders, never returned phone calls or gave good customer service as they used to. It is no surprise that customers went elsewhere. I remember when Edy's was there. My family spent THOUSANDS of dollars at RR until they no longer cared about their customers any more.

Posted by TammyGee, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Sep 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

So sad. I was planning to go there today if for nothing else than to meander about. I'm very sad for our community and unlike Old Timer, I was always given the very best of service and benefited from the knowledge of their workers. I certainly hope they've been able to find employment elsewhere and that they had more advanced notice than the customers.

Posted by gardener, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 7:59 pm

This is a real loss to our community. We still live in a suburb with many yards and gardens. New developments are forcing us to have to DRIVE to other communities to buy the things we need. Isn't the whole idea of a "small town" and "sustainability" that we don't need cars, that we can find thins we need close by our homes?
Very sad.

Posted by Norman, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Beltramo's will succumb, also. The ratio of the size of the store to the number of customers is too high.

Posted by Sunshine, a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Sep 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Betsy, try Ladera Garden Center on Alpine Road just past 280 in the Ladera Country Shopping Center. You'll find it is also a very homey mom and pop nursery. The owners are friendly and knowledgeable. They also have a wonderful gift shop. Plants and gifts are expertly wrapped.

Posted by Michelle Obama, a resident of Woodside: other
on Sep 5, 2013 at 11:51 am

Sad indeed. I was just in there several weeks ago buying some plants for my daughter. Chatted with Sally for about five minutes. She was pleasant, but seemed more tired than I can ever remember seeing her. I guess than embezzlement business had a long-lasting impact.

I wonder if there will be a "Friends of Roger Reynolds" ala Keplers Book store.

Been a customer for 40+ years.

Posted by whatever, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Sep 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm


Rumor is hourly workers at RRN received no severance pay, which is not required under California law.

However, have you guys researched the plight of the now former workers, many of whom were long-time employees? How many were there, how many years, efforts to find them employment elsewhere, any advance notice to them of the demise of RRN?

Posted by Editor, a resident of another community
on Sep 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Any former employees or others who want to discuss the situation, please contact Richard Hine at the Almanac: | (650)223-6525.

Posted by Pat Baisley, a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 6, 2013 at 10:50 am

As a kid and even later, I'd stop at Edy's for ice cream, some of which had little candies in it.

I know Pauline Sparrow married Roger Reynolds in 1930 and they lived on Douglas Avenue in Burlingame. Pauline made hats and had a hat shop across the street from their home on Douglas. I think she later had a hat shop at RR Nursery in Menlo Park. Is it true that Roger died in a car accident on El Camino Real as a result of a heart attack in about 1937?

I'm glad this nursery survived for so many years, but am so sorry it has to close. I don't like that big box stores (like Walmart, Target, Home Depot) have ruined businesses that are small and home grown.

Posted by customer of RR, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Sep 7, 2013 at 7:21 am

sounds like "whatever" is a soon-to-be former employee. Let's just let the Nursery go out as a shining star & relish in all the good memories we have of the place. People have a right to close their business w/out any negatives

Posted by Digger, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Sep 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm

We also heard from former RR employees (they were former from some time back) that certain workers were let go without severance pay, too, so I don't think it's a baseless rumor. When we discussed RR's method of closing with a friend who is a business owner, she said that's just good practice from the business's point of view. Depends on how you're placed at the time. We still feel sadness for RR given the embezzlement issue. That selfish act on the part of the guilty party caused long-term damage for the owners and their employees. Greed is such a distructive force in this beleagured world of ours.

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