Sindy Marion works on the garden
Luke Marion is trying to change the face of gardening.
His company MIgardener is growing and he believes it’s only the beginning. Having started in 2011 as a passion expressed through social media, it became a company at the end of 2013. MIgarderner recently celebrated the grand opening of what Marion hopes to be the first of many brick-and-mortar gardening supply and learning centers.
A party was held at the downtown Port Huron store this past Saturday, June 23. Marion estimates that nearly 400 people were in attendance.
The gardening supply store is much more than that. Housed in a building too large for their inventory, Marion and crew have also created a free learning library. Because MIgardener is about more than selling gardening supplies, but instead changing the way people interact with food.
"I want to engage the Bluewater region because I have a passion for the Bluewater region. I grew up here and saw the need for access to fresh fruits and veggies," Marion says. "We’re here to fulfill that need."
Luke Marion is growing his own coffee beans. In 2011, MIgardener started out as Marion’s online passion project. He created YouTube videos, Instagram posts, and more, all of which were dedicated to teaching people about healthy eating. Those accounts are still a big part of what MIgardener does today.
Somewhere around the end of 2013, MIgardener became more than a passion project; it became a business. Marion started selling seeds and supplies online. It soon became apparent that there was need for a brick-and-mortar storefront, and they found the space on Huron Avenue in 2018.
Today, Marion runs MIgardener with his wife Sindy and a team of several others.
"We’re young and excited," he says.
They’re also quite driven. Marion plans on the Port Huron location being the first of many others. He’s already looking to places like Traverse City and Grand Rapids for future outposts. He’s even talking about locations opening up in Chicago and New York City.
The Bluewater region will always be home, though, and he’s proud to make Port Huron his company’s headquarters. There is much work still to be done.
"There is a food desert here that is often overlooked; people usually think of other parts of the state when it comes to food The Marion family. deserts," Marion says. "There are so many people here that are renters, or of low income. The best way to help them is to give the freshest, most nutrient-dense food possible.
"A cucumber off the vine: It’s literally free food."
By opening up his storefront as a free community library, Marion hopes to provide information on gardening and growing one’s own food. He wants it to be a community center, too. He provides free vegetable-infused water and will let someone stay and read all day, should they want to.
But MIgardener is, of course, a business, too. They carry over 400 seeds for edible fruits and vegetables. They also carry gardening tools, fertilizers, soil amendments, and more. Products are available both online and in-store.
"We’re always looking for ways to improve the Bluewater region,” Marion says.
"This store is a platform to reach the community."
MIgardener is located at 227 Huron Ave. in downtown Port Huron.
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