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Located just east of Dalton, Kiko's Greenhouse is a stop you don't want to miss out on when shopping for your garden and landscaping needs. Rows of garden sculptures in every animal and figurine you can think of line the front of the store, while the inside holds a massive variety of the most fragrant and colorful flowers. Mr. Kiko himself never imagined he would be so deep in dirt; so to speak.
James Kiko started his greenhouse business back in the late 1970s. "I played around with plants as a hobby," said Kiko. He began by selling plants from his mobile home just down the road from the current location.
Kiko didn't plan on developing a green thumb, it just kind of happened upon him. "I went to school to be a mechanic," said Kiko. After serving his time in the military as a mechanic he came home and decided to dive into a new career path.
"I decided to get my hands dirty with a different kind of dirt," joked Kiko. It became a product of trial and error and educating himself from others in the business. He found his flowers were selling well with the local community and decided to expand.
After moving to a few different locations, Kiko settled on the current property in 1986. He began to fill his greenhouses with the most vibrant and fragrant flowers he could find and delicious vegetables. "We raise 95 percent of the flowers and vegetable items we sell."
Walking through the greenhouse, you become overwhelmed by the variety of bold and vibrant colors and sweet smells. Purple Petunias and bright pink Begonias and much more fill the rows of the Greenhouse.
Kiko soon began to explore other avenues of the greenhouse business when he was asked if he supplied chick jars (little clay pots with holes in them to plant different plants in.) During his search, he started to come across different sculptures that could be placed in the yard and garden.
"It kind of grew out of a mistake," joked Kiko.
Along with their large selection of flowers, Kiko's carries one of the largest selections in the area of garden and lawn sculptures, Kiko said. Some of their most popular sculptures include angels and gargoyles. These two items are especially popular for those looking for funeral settings.
Benches and fountains and just about every animal you can think of covers the grounds in front of the greenhouse as well as the side yards. From small to large, if Kiko's doesn't have exactly what you're looking for, he can find it and order it for you.
Kiko is always excited to see returning customers and their families. "We are seeing three to four generations of customers," said Kiko. He enjoys seeing the friendly faces of customers past and providing products to their children and grandchildren.
Retirement has proven to be a busy one for Kiko and he shows no signs of slowing down. "I've been trying to downsize but there are just so many new items that are coming out." Kiko just finds himself purchasing more.
"Since I have retired, business has picked up," said Kiko. When people ask about retired life Kiko responds with "I guess it's just been in my blood for so long. If you like what you do, you just keep doing it."
While Kiko does not see any future plans of expansion to the business, he is considering passing his business along to his son. While most would love the opportunity to pass on the family business and settle into retirement, Kiko just can't seem to let go just yet.
"If you want to see a good selection of lawn ornaments all in one place, come to Kiko's," said Kiko. His large selection is likely to have just what you need.
Kiko's Greenhouse is located at 15579 Lincoln Way West in Dalton. Kiko's is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon.-Fri.; 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. and 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun. For more information call 330-832-8698.