Sunnyside Gardens

The Sunnyside Gardens / Main Floral Connection { Anoka Area Florist }

Oh. Hey, there. We have a story to tell you today! It has it all: history, flowers, kids, grandparents, and business growth. Pretty intriguing, right–did we rope you in? (Really…it’s a fun story–and, not too long. Promise.) Since the weather is turning warm, and gardening season is right around the corner, we figure it’s the perfect time to tell you about the grandparents of Dawn and Steve (Main Floral’s brother/sister ownership team), and their connection to the beautiful Sunnyside Gardens, located in Minneapolis, right near Edina. (Check out their website here.)

Many, many, years ago…Frank and Grace Moot (the grandparents), owned a mechanic shop near the corner of 44th and France. Frank did the mechanic work while Grace found that selling her Geranium’s, right outside the shop, both passed the time for her, as well as brought in a bit of extra income. (Personally, I think that bringing the car to the shop would be MUCH better if I could buy fresh flowers, too.) As it came to be, Grace’s flowers started to bring in a big chunk of income and pretty soon, Frank, being the business man he was, realized that flowers, over car repairs, might be where the real money was–so, they shut the garage doors, and swung open the garden gates. Their growing garden center soon became known as, “The Shack”.

Well, over the years The Shack/Sunnyside Gardens grew, and grew; pretty much every member of the family worked their at some point in their life. For many kids in the family, it was their first job (conveniently, their busy season, and summer vacation lined up perfectly 🙂 ). Dawn remembers her time there well–after all it was her first job, at 13 years old, and it was where she learned to drink coffee. (I think every coffee drinker remembers where they first learned to drink coffee–for me, it was my job at Perkins…unlimited coffee, and terrible hours, it was the perfect relationship.) Dawn’s primary duties were nothing like the glamorous, gorgeous designing she does now–she spent most of her time cleaning Geranium’s, and deadheading roses. She also spent time watering the plants (but, only if monitored). She attributes some of her going into the floral industry on a saying her grandma told her once. She said, “Once you’re pricked by a rose thorn, it’s in your blood.”

As the years went on, Sunnyside Gardens grew larger, eating up the area where the old Red Owl grocery store used to be and more, and more, employees were hired on. Eventually, Gerald Moot (Dawn’s uncle) took over the business. He ran it for quite some time until retiring in 2000. Gerald sold the business to Mike Hurley, the man whom, in the late ’80’s, had come to work for him as a teenage, carryout boy. Today, Hurley still owns the current 1.8 acres over on the corner of France and 44th and has done a remarkable job of expanding, and growing, the business in his community. (If you’d like to read an article more focused on business aspect of Sunnyside Gardens, CLICK HERE.)

Anyway, if you’re ever in their area, we recommend checking them out. They have a beautiful selection of plants–along with all you need to get your garden going. Plus, they’re fabulous at simply being there if you have questions to ask!

Sunnyside Gardens
This painting hangs right outside of Main Floral’s door. It depicts the humble beginnings of Sunnyside. We like to think that the folks standing there, looking at the flowers, are Frank, and Grace, Moot.


sunnyside gardens
Sunnyside Gardens, from above. (This is NOT our photo. It belongs to IGC Retailer Magazine.)


Summertime, at Main Floral…still with the Geranium’s out front. 🙂



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