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Thomsen’s is for sale

Submitted by on 1, July 8, 2009 – 5:50 amNo Comment

A friend e-mailed me the other day to let me know that the venerable Thomsen’s Garden Center is back on the market. The asking price is $1.3 million.

Iris Watson, owns the venerable garden spot with her husband, John, said she started out as a customer of Bob Thomsen’s. They became friends, and then Watson began working there part-time.

“It became an instant obsession,” Watson said as she handled customers on a recent afternoon. In 1981, she and John Watson bought the business and the 1889 Queen Anne Victorian that houses it, at 1113 Lincoln Avenue (which is also home to Vine’s Cafe & Gift Shop).

After 28 years, the garden center – and Watson – are an institution. (She also writes a column for Alameda Magazine and has a show on Comcast’s public access channel, which airs at 3 p.m. Saturdays and locally at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays.) But Watson wants more time to spend with her two granddaughters, who live a few hours away – and a break from 10- to 12-hour workdays, six days a week.

“Just a little more freedom is what I’d like,” Watson said.

Watson, who put the center on the market a while back, said she doesn’t have to sell the business. “If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I’m blessed to be doing what I enjoy,” she said.

Harbor Bay Realty’s Jane Friedrich has got the listing, right here.

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