Longtime customers of My Garden Nursery are in for some exciting and delicious news: Your next visit to the nursery can include flowers, fruit trees, flamingos, and food.
Owner Jenny Gunderson opened the Purple Flamingo Cafe food truck in April, fulfilling a longtime goal of bringing food and drink options to My Garden Nursery.
“Ever since 1978 when I first had the idea of having a nursery, I decided I wanted to have a cafe with it … a lot of customers always said they wished we sold coffee,” she says. “It’s been a dream for a long time.”
The name “purple flamingo” is an ode to a cause near and dear to Gunderson: support for those with Alzheimers and Dementia. When customers purchase purple flamingos for their gardens, 10% of each purchase goes to The Alzheimer’s Association for research. Gunderson is continuing that tradition at the food truck, with a percentage of its proceeds going to the Dementia Support NW every month.
“We started selling them [purple flamingos] because I wanted something fun and people love them, so I decided it would be a good name for the food truck … an additional way to raise money for the Alzheimer’s cause, plus it makes people smile,” she says.
Purple Flamingo Cafe is run by Ted Aspinall, former owner of Kathryn Taylor Chocolates on Orcas Island and lover of plants and gardens. The menu features a selection of soups, sandwiches made from Avenue Bread bread, salads, and “flaminis,” a.k.a. paninis. You can also find coffee from Bellingham Coffee Roasters and select desserts.
Keep your eye out for specials like the Dilly Pickles ($5), a deep fried pickle spear, wrapped in havarti cheese with an aioli for dipping (named lovingly after the My Garden Nursery cat). Her granddaughter also coined the Flamingo Freeze ($5.50), a purple slushy made with fresh blackberries.
While the food truck is currently located in front of the store, it will be locating to its permanent home on the side of the nursery after the building gets a new roof in July. Other changes include the opening of The Bigfoot Snack Bar – a beer and snack bar inside the nursery equipped with standing tables.
“My hope is for a more well-rounded experience for our customers where they can enjoy coffee and flaminis while walking around and enjoying the garden,” Gunderson says.
My Garden Nursery, 929 E. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham, mygardennursery.com