The family-operated Darby Creek Nursery will open a satellite location in Reynoldsburg on May 2 at the corner of East Main Street and Lancaster Avenue.

The family-operated Darby Creek Nursery will open a satellite location in Reynoldsburg on May 2 at the corner of East Main Street and Lancaster Avenue.

Another satellite location will also open May 2 in the Kroger plaza near Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road off East Broad Street.

Darby Creek Nursery is co-owned by Jeff and Cindy Turnbull.

Jeff Turnbull said he started the Hilliard-based company 16 years ago, and began opening temporary satellite locations around the Columbus area beginning last year in Worthington, Gahanna, and German Village.

Those three locations were so well-received he decided to expand this year by opening up in Reynoldsburg, Gahanna, South Bloomfield and Logan.

"We did this last year with the onset of high gas prices and we thought, instead of trying to convince people to come from Worthington to Hilliard, we would just bring it to them," Turnbull said. "It's been amazing how these little communities have accepted us and just love that we're kind of bringing stuff to them, and they don't have to drive all over town."

Although the Hilliard branch is a full-service nursery and gardening center, Turnbull said he decided to open the satellite locations to bring the nursery to the customers.

"It worked out better than we ever would have imagined, and our goal is to at some time have probably 25 of these," he said.

Reynoldsburg development director Lucas Haire said Darby Creek Nursery obtained a temporary special land use permit for three months to use the one-acre lot on Main Street, where a BP gas station once stood. He said the site has been vacant for a number of years.

"It's nice to have some activity there and it also draws people to the old town district," Haire said.

Turnball said he grew up on a farm in Madison County and went on to obtain two degrees form The Ohio State University, one in agriculture and one in business.

"I went into public accounting and decided that wasn't part of my gig, and went back and worked as a general manager at another local garden center for six years before I decided to start this one," Turnbull said.

Darby Creek grows most of its own stock near the company's Hilliard headquarters.

"We grow and sell annuals and perennials and a little bit of colored nursery stock and we had a phenomenal response from it last year," Turnbull said.

At the satellite locations, he said, they try to cater to what each community says they want. Turnbull said he gives his managers flexibility to hold specials which could include 25 percent off on perennials or $5 off hanging baskets.

"Again, it's what the customer tells us they want to see, and each of the stores are kind of a niche of what they tell us like. In German Village last year, we sold a lot of shade plants," Turnbull said.

He said business has been good. During the peak season, beginning in the spring, he will have more than 100 employees.

"We're expanding at a time when most businesses are contracting and we're hiring people," Turnbull said.

For now, Turnbull said the Darby Creek satellite locations will stay open for about three months, but that could be extended in the future.

"We found out people like having a little neighborhood garden center, so we go to them and set up shop for about 90 days, from about April 20, and then tear down about July 20," Turnbull said.

"We plan to be back for next year and the next and be a permanent fixture. As it expands and expands we may stay open from three months to five months, selling mums in the fall and pumpkins and Christmas trees -- so you never know," he said.

Operating hours vary at each location, Turnbull said, depending on what the community wants, but for the most part, he said they are usually open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

"I'm not sure when we'll open on Saturday in Reynoldsburg, but it will probably be the usual time at 10 a.m.," he said.

"Each store varies, depending on what the clientele wants. I mean, in Worthington, they get up early so we open a little earlier in Worthington," he said.

dowen@thisweeknews.com