McDonald Garden Center closing after 72 years

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The end of an era is approaching in Hampton Roads. McDonald Garden Center is closing its Hampton store after 72 years.

McDonald Garden Center hasn’t moved from Pembroke Avenue since it was built in 1945, but its customers have moved away. It is not in an area where people live or shop and the owner says people don’t want to drive out of their way. The store has been losing money for years.

“It’s a painful, painful decision that we’ve had to make to not retail in Hampton anymore,” said McDonald Garden Center President Mark Anderson.

His father echoed his sadness but said, “At the same time, it’s very exciting what’s happening because lifestyles are changing and business is changing rapidly.”

They are planting new seeds now — satellite stores called garden markets, like the one that recently popped up in the parking lot of a shopping center in Norfolk’s Wards Corner. They plan to run 10 to 15 of them throughout Hampton Roads every spring to serve people where they live and shop.

Customers like Sandra Tumminello, who shopped at McDonald Garden Center for 35 years, says it won’t be the same.

“I love everything about it and was just very sad,” she said.

But owner Eddie Anderson says it’s not the end.

“I really can’t say goodbye cause we’re not leaving.”

Instead, it’s just another season with its own potential to bloom and grow.