xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Rooted Plant Supply’s popular bus keeps its wheels turning in Howard County

Before COVID’s arrival in March 2020, Jennifer Grimes and her husband, Collin, had around 30 kinds of houseplants in their home in Columbia. They dreamed of starting their own plant business.

“Plants were kind of just a hobby for us,” said Grimes, who received her first plants from a good friend and then slowly added to her collection. “My husband and I started propagating them and making new plants. … ”

Advertisement

The pandemic put their dreams on hold, and in August 2020, the couple decided it was time to let go of some of the plants they had grown for their dream and offered them for sale online.

Collin and Jen Grimes set up a plant display. They started Rooted Plant Supply, a company that sells house plants from a school bus at farmers markets, apartment complexes, and other locations.
Collin and Jen Grimes set up a plant display. They started Rooted Plant Supply, a company that sells house plants from a school bus at farmers markets, apartment complexes, and other locations. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun)

“We posted [online] 30 plants [for sale] and within 24 hours, they were all bought,” Grimes said. When a second plant sale a few weeks later had the same results, they realized they were onto something and made Rooted Plant Supply a reality.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“We were looking for some kind of storefront, but Howard County was a little out of our price range,” Grimes said. “We threw out the idea of going mobile, like a food truck, and started looking at different types of trucks.”

What caught their eye was an old school bus in Kansas. After bringing it to Maryland, Collin went to work converting the bus into a mobile, year-round greenhouse that now houses their plants and travels to farmers markets, festivals, apartment complexes and other events around the state.

“I remember that day clearly. It was an amazing event,” said Reggie Pettiford, a leasing agent at Arbors at Arundel Preserve in Hanover, of hosting Rooted during one of their resident’s events. “We had been doing a lot of food trucks and … wanted to do something different. We got a lot of positive feedback from our residents.”

Jen and Collin Grimes started Rooted Plant Supply, a company that sells house plants from a school bus at farmers markets, apartment complexes, and other locations.
Jen and Collin Grimes started Rooted Plant Supply, a company that sells house plants from a school bus at farmers markets, apartment complexes, and other locations. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun)

Plants range in price from $6 to $120. Rooted also offers pots, trellises, watering cans, potting materials and friendly, helpful advice, Grimes said.

Advertisement

“The most common comment we get is ‘I always kill plants,’” Grimes said. “We want to encourage people to try it so they know they actually can keep a plant alive.”

For that reason, the Grimes do not sell succulents, such as cactuses.

“They make awesome, wonderful little gifts and party favors, but they are pretty challenging to take care of,” Grimes said. “We don’t want to give the false idea succulents are an easy plant and they get one and it dies. It discourages them away.”

October marked the anniversary of the traveling plant business. While Grimes admits that business waned slightly with the COVID vaccine’s arrival, people are “still very interested,” she said, and she is expecting another strong fall/winter season.

“With the winter months coming, people want that greenery inside,” Grimes said. “It is something people enjoy and want more of.”

Jen Grimes sets up a plant display. Jen and her husband, Collin Grimes, started Rooted Plant Supply, a company that sells house plants from a school bus at farmers markets, apartment complexes, and other locations.
Jen Grimes sets up a plant display. Jen and her husband, Collin Grimes, started Rooted Plant Supply, a company that sells house plants from a school bus at farmers markets, apartment complexes, and other locations. (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun)

She is still holding onto to her dream of owning a storefront business, too, and using the bus for events.

“We take it day by day,” Grimes said. “Our hands are full.”

Rooted Plant Supply’s schedule can be found on its webpage: rootedplantsupply.com or on its Facebook page: facebook.com/rootedplantsupply/

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement