Archive for Thursday, January 29, 2009

Grass Pad comes to Bonner Springs

January 29, 2009

From a sod farm in Farley, Mo., to a thriving business, Grass Pad Warehouse has come a long way — all the way, it seems, to Bonner Springs.

The nursery and gardening warehouse opened its doors two weeks ago and though the winter season is keeping many people at home, that hasn’t kept the phone from ringing off the hook.

“We were getting 10 to 20 phone calls a day prior to when we opened from people just calling and saying how excited they were to come in,” said nursery manager Dave Burnell.

Grass Pad specializes in sod, fertilizer and grass seed, but also sells a variety of trees and shrubs, flower and vegetable seeds, bird seeds, insecticides, chemicals for pond maintenance and, of course, gardening equipment. A large area of the store is devoted to sprinklers, hoses and many other gardening accessories.

“We have everything there would be for a garden center to sell,” Burnell said.

Grass Pad is not just a retailer, however, but also a wholesaler. The business works with everyone from school districts to landscapers to contractors.

“We work with just about everyone,” said Burnell. “It’s amazing how many people we work with.”

The Bonner Springs local is one of five Grass Pad locations, including Olathe and Bucyrus in Kansas and Kansas City and Lee’s Summit in Missouri. The decision to open another store was based on a mutual affinity between Grass Pad and the residents of Bonner Springs. Prior to becoming nursery manager for this location, Burnell worked for both the Olathe and Kansas City locations. He said he would get calls all the time from Bonner Springs residents, wondering when Grass Pad would be coming to their neck of the woods. For its part, Grass Pad has been happy to oblige.

“I would say that Bonner Springs is a growing community,” said Burnell. “We see a lot of potential in Bonner. It’s been an opportunity we’ve looked at for a bit.”

Another reason for moving here is that Bonner Springs will serve all those communities, such as Lawrence, Lansing and Tonganoxie, not easily met by the other locations. But Grass Pad isn’t looking to stop here.

“Grass Pad is always wanting to expand,” Burnell said.

Store manager Billy Dupras said that what sets Grass Pad apart from other nurseries is how knowledgeable the staff is when it comes to all things outdoors.

“We make it simple for people,” said Dupras. “They come in and tell us what they want, and they usually come back and say ‘wow.’”

The staff is also knowledgeable about any problems that may arise with a garden or yard and will give solutions and advice whenever needed.

“People can tell us the situation with their yard and we can tell them what to do (to fix it),” said senior salesman Pat Yates.

Grass Pad Warehouse is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday thru Saturday and, in March, will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays as well. Burnell said the months of January and February are usually pretty slow because of the weather, which is giving the staff ample time to get the new store up and running for a busy spring season.

“We’re tired of painting,” said Dupras. “We want to wait on customers.”

A tentative Grass Pad grand opening is scheduled for sometime in April.

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