Fisher's Gardens: Ownership changes but ideals remain at Reynoldsburg nursery, store

Kelley Youman
ThisWeek
Dan and Kiki Caines bought Fisher's Gardens, 1540 Truro Ave., from Bee Fisher Kocher and her husband, Brian. The Caines, shown with sons Tristian (front left) and Troy, plan to open Nov. 14 with a Christmas gift shop.

Change is in bloom at Fisher’s Gardens in Reynoldsburg. 

Former Reynoldsburg residents Dan and Kiki Caines bought the nursery and garden store at 1540 Truro Ave. last month. They plan to keep the Fisher’s name.  

“We’re extremely excited for the opportunity to be a part of the community and the town we grew up in,” said Dan Caines, 46. “If we don’t know the person we’re talking to face to face, there’s a good chance that we know their best friend or their brother. We like the fact that you still get that small-town feel, and we’re really hoping to see Reynoldsburg continue to grow.”  

The Caines, who live in Pataskala with sons, Troy, 12 and Tristan, 9, are both graduates of Reynoldsburg High School – Dan in the class of 1993 and Kiki in ’95. 

At its peak, Fisher’s Gardens included 10 production greenhouses and a retail greenhouse. In 1989, a second retail operation, now the sole Fisher’s Gardens shop, opened. 

Bee Fisher Kocher was the third generation to work the family business. Kocher and her husband, Brian, took over in 2002, buying Fisher’s Gardens from her sister, Deb. 

They ran the business while raising two sons, Sam and Alex.  

The Kochers will stay on consultants through the transition and plan to start a wholesale business to continue raising plants for other independent garden centers.  

“We owned it during one of the hardest economic times for independent businesses, but we weathered it. For us, failure was not an option,” Kocher said. “As we got older and we knew the kids weren’t going to be interested in it, we wanted to ease our way out of retail.  

“We really still enjoy plants – they are our forte and our love – but, of course, you can’t just grow plants and not sell them. You’ve got to have a business. This will be a way to still be in the plant business but on a smaller scale.”  

The similarities between the Kochers and the Caines – common middle names, anniversaries a day apart, two sons at home – were “too many little things to be coincidental,” Kocher said.  

“This was a perfect time in their lives to do this. It’ll be great for their family:  it’s a bonding that you wouldn’t get if mom and dad just went to work and didn’t know what you were doing,” she said.  

“Even though it was difficult during the recession years, we look back and say we would do it all over again. The day that they came to tour the store the first time – looking at it from a buyer’s perspective – I thought, ‘This was us, 15 or 20 years ago.’ This is exactly what we pictured to carry on our family’s legacy.” 

The Caines, who were longtime customers, spent much of the summer preparing to take over operations. The change in ownership was announced in an email Oct. 15 to customers and on Facebook. 

“When I saw it was for sale, I instantly felt sick to my stomach – I was so worried that it would get bought up and go away. We want to maintain it how it has in the past, carrying the same plants and growing some of the same plants that they grow,” said Kiki Caines, 43. “The legacy of the Fisher’s name is so strong that we felt going into it, if we can try and match what Bee and Brian have done, it’s kind of a no-brainer from a business standpoint.” 

This winter, Dan Caines will plant thousands of vegetables to be grown in a greenhouse on site.  

“We have previous years’ order history and after two or three decades of knowing what works and what doesn’t work as well,” he said. “I am looking forward to mid-to-late winter and getting in there and getting my hands dirty.”  

He plans to work fulltime at Fisher’s Gardens, while his wife will work part-time, keeping her day job in commercial insurance.   

Like their predecessors, the couple plans to make it a family affair.  

“Troy and Tristan are both very excited about this and want to be part of it. We talk about the future, definitely talk about the next 30 years,” Kiki Caines said. 

The store traditionally closes from mid-October through mid-March, but her love of all things Christmas means holiday hours will begin this year.  

“We’re going to open for Christmas, and we’re going to do a Christmas gift shop starting Nov. 14, using the space to host vendors,” she said. “Next year we hope to add Christmas trees and live garland and wreaths.”   

Other changes planned for the spring include an expanded gift shop and holding creative classes and community events. 

The staples that Fisher’s has been known for – grave blankets, aisles of plants and veggies and outstanding customer service – will continue, the Caines said.  

“We received such positive feedback. It was really uplifting because I was nervous about how the community would embrace a change in ownership,” Kiki Caines said. “This is a dream come true.” 

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