MASON, W.Va. — Those who do not know details of Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, Inc. beyond its flagship roadside retail market in Mason, might be surprised when they hear the company’s statistics.
Started in July 1970 by patriarch Bob Barnitz and his wife, Corena, the small Mason market began as a side business while Bob still worked at a local plant.
And what initiated as a 6,000-square-foot business, has now, 46 years later, become a corporation of over 1 million square feet. It is one of the largest greenhouse operations on the east coast.
Nowadays, the company is still headed by Bob, but he has been joined by all five of his sons – Bobby, Scott, Rick, Jeff, and John, as well as some grandsons. All have certain areas of expertise that they are in charge of, from growing the plants, to trucking them from state-to-state, to wholesale and retail sales.
Sending flowers and seedlings as far west as Texas, north to Michigan, east to New Jersey, and south to Georgia, Bob’s Market products can be found in over 20 states, according to Anna Barnitz, treasurer and chief financial officer at Bob’s.
The company employs 135 full-time equivalent workers, with over 190 on the payroll during the peak season. Seasons for Bob’s Market employees differ from those of other local residents. While the retail stores are being stocked with Christmas trees and colorful poinsettias, growers in the greenhouses are already seeing small ferns that will fill Bob’s famous hanging baskets in the spring. Poinsettias were growing while others were attending local county fairs.
Bob’s Market has four retail stores, including Mason, Gallipolis and Belpre, Ohio, and Atlanta, Georgia.
The Belpre market is presently undergoing a major renovation project, which will boast a 25,000-square-foot greenhouse/garden center. The center will be open year round and will be fully climate controlled. Concrete floors and wide aisles will make it convenient for customers.
While Bob’s Market remains a family-owned business, Anna Barnitz (wife of Scott) points out that they know the success of the business is due to more than family. She said they are appreciative of the dedicated workers the company is blessed to have.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at email@example.com