A staple business for Coupeville gardeners has two new owners, and they’re ready to be involved in the community.
Greenbank residents Dawn Smith and Will Hawkins officially took ownership of Rainshadow Nursery on Oct. 1.
The couple is new to Whidbey Island; they first moved here a year ago. While out exploring Central Whidbey, they decided to check out the nursery. Smith said it was love at first sight.
“As we were leaving, we saw that it was for sale, and we immediately turned around and came back,” she said with a laugh.
Rainshadow’s former owner, Jackie Bartsch, was planning to move back to her homeland of Canada to be closer to her family and needed to pass on the business. Smith and Hawkins saw it as an opportunity to get involved in something meaningful together while also becoming more involved in their new community.
“We’ve had our careers and we’re ready to just live the simple life and be surrounded by the things that we love, which for us is plants,” Smith said.
Prior to acquiring Rainshadow, she worked as a chef for almost 20 years, while Hawkins worked in technology.
Rainshadow is the only nursery in Coupeville, and the couple said they’ve enjoyed getting to know some of its regular customers during their first week in charge, including garden club members.
Smith said they also have plans to phase out some of the gifts they sell in the shop portion of the nursery to make room for local artisans’ wares instead.
Though the couple has some changes in mind they would like to make, they don’t have any grand plans for expansion; they just want to maintain the heart of the business and keep the nursery a quaint and lovely place for Coupeville residents to enjoy being around plants.
“We just want to help make (Coupeville) beautiful and be part of the community,” Hawkins said.