Spring Treats in Southside

The Potting Bench in South Williamsport has two of the best ways to celebrate spring: Gardening and ice cream treats. Purchased in 2019, the greenhouse, garden center and ice cream shop are now owned and operated by Lori Solomon, with the help of friends and family.

“I had shopped at The Potting Bench for 30 years. I always said that when the lot goes up for sale, I was going to buy it,” Lori says.

With various perennial and annual flowers, ranging from native to exotic, visitors can stop in for a taste of the outdoors and a sweet treat from April through Christmas. Previous owners were only open in spring, but Lori expanded the business to encompass a majority of the year.

Throughout the years, The Potting Bench has done fundraisers for the community and special holiday events.

“We’ve done fundraisers with the South Williamsport Girls Soccer team and collaborated with Wine and Design in Downtown Williamsport, as well as local restaurants,” Lori says.

They have put on events like pumpkin painting, craft shows and sponsored special menus. The Potting Bench hosts those events to bring the community together for fun nights, good causes and lots of laughs.

The Bench’s outdoor seating allows people to talk and spend time together while enjoying delicious ice cream. Their menu offers unique options creatively concocted by Lori’s son, Dustin Solomon, such as taco sundaes, teaberry milkshakes and pineapple floats.

Lori gardens herself for fun and loves being outdoors with her family. She also loves to offer gardening tips for customers’ home gardens as they pursue lovely flowers and delicious veggies .

Her favorite part about running The Potting Bench is seeing and meeting new people, as well as seeing friends and working alongside her family.

“It’s exciting to see people from as far as Lewisburg and Lock Haven stop in,” Lori says.

For Lori, the community support has been the biggest factor in her success.

Working with other businesses and the community helps everyone grow and blossom. Since local businesses can struggle competing with big corporations, community support truly allows local businesses to thrive.

Says Lori, “Community is very important to us. We all help each other out.”



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