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The Potting Bench satisfies green thumbs and a sweet tooth

The Potting Bench in South Williamsport has the best that every season has to offer — flowers, plants, ice cream, crafts, seasonal décor, and a farmers market, all in a relaxing outdoor atmosphere.

The business opened at the beginning of COVID in 2020 as a greenhouse and workshop. In the past two years, the business has expanded to include ice cream and a farmers market, which they hope to further expand this upcoming season.

Business partners Mark and Lori Solomon, Dustin Solomon, and Dan Langford have been managing the combination greenhouse and ice cream shop since 2019.

The space, which includes outdoor seating under a garden pergola, has become a social spot for the greater Williamsport community.

“The atmosphere is a relaxing place. Many families come in and get ice cream and then explore the plants and crafts which add to the ambiance. It gives them something to do, especially with the crafts in the fall,” Lori said.

Customers are welcomed to come have ice cream, browse the garden section, or just to visit and enjoy the atmosphere.

“Some come just to read the paper while they have their coffee out here under the pergola, we’ll have people sitting out at night time or even for lunch, just kind of mingling amongst one another. The goal is to make sure that people leave here happy,” Dustin Solomon.

The partners of The Potting Bench most enjoy the relationships they have made while owning and managing the business — both with their employees and with new and returning customers.

“We all love it. We have a great team, been very fortunate with the help we’ve had,” Lori said.

“There are so many people who we have met that have been customers — the relationships that we’ve been able to make with all of them is something I didn’t really expect going into the business. We have regulars that come weekly, or even daily. It’s been nice and the community has really embraced us,” Dustin said.

The outdoor area and greenhouse also helped provide both a social and creative outlet for many during the height of COVID. “It’s been one of those social outlets, maybe because people haven’t had the opportunity to do that much during COVID — A lot of people during that time got really into gardening,” Dustin said.

Gardening questions from customers are welcomed by the knowledgeable staff.

“Our folks are here to answer questions. If you have questions about plants we’re here and we’re knowledgeable and if you just want to browse, that’s fine too,” Dustin said. “This has been a learning and growing experience for all of us, and that has been the most exciting part for me.” Dan Langford said, “It seems each week one of us has a new idea for the business, and we work together to plan and execute it for our customers.”

The green house offers seasonal decor, workshops and crafts. They hope to lengthen their fall season this year into the winter months. Upcoming events are often posted to The Potting Bench Facebook page and website.

The Potting Bench will begin serving ice cream on April 1st. The shop offers locally made ice cream, sundaes, banana splits, milk shakes, slushies, hot foods, and will soon be serving soft serve ice cream. For upcoming events and business hours follow The Potting Bench on Facebook, Instagram, or visit their website at https://www.pottingbenchmarket.com.

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