St. Louis Family to Open Nursery in Bayer’s Former Hampton Space

Lila and Dylan Waier hope to match the former garden shop’s legacy

Monica Obradovic

Lila and Dylan Waier already own and operate Grow Gear Garden Supply in Lindenwood Park

A new garden store will open in the Bayer’s Garden Shop’s former location off of Hampton Avenue in the spring.

The Garden Shop, headed by couple Lila and Dylan Waier, has no set opening date yet, but will take over Bayer’s former space in April, Lila Waier tells the RFT.

Bayer’s closed its south city and Imperial locations in June after more than 80 years of operation. At the time, owners Greg and Jason Bayer told the Post-Dispatchthat low sales and a perpetual staff shortage led to the legacy business’ closure. The brothers’ grandparents started Bayer’s on Hampton Avenue in 1941. The business eventually grew into a staple for St. Louis-area gardeners.

The Waiers hope to bring new life to Bayer’s former space. The Garden Shop will sell gardening essentials, such as plants, pots, supplies and sod, with pumpkins for sale in the fall and Christmas trees during the holiday season. Lila Waier says they’ll do their best to match Bayer’s selection and follow the shop’s legacy.

“We probably won’t be able to match the level of inventory they had in year one, so we hope folks will bear with us,” she says.

Supporting other small businesses is important to her and her husband, Lila Waier adds, so their new shop will also have a section featuring local small-batch growers.
The former Bayer's Garden Shop on Hampton before it closed last summer

screengrab via Google Maps

The former Bayer’s Garden Shop on Hampton before it closed last summer

Though they haven’t owned a plant nursery before, the Waiers are not new to small businesses. The couple operated a 50-acre medical cannabis collective in California before they relocated to Missouri in 2018. They opened Grow Gear Garden Supply (3217 Ivanhoe Avenue) in Lindenwood Park soon after moving to the Midwest.

Grow Gear sells supplies for indoor and outdoor growing, but not plants. The Waiers plan to operate the store along with their new garden shop.

The couple’s acquisition of Bayer’s former spot follows a dogged pursuit to take over its space after Lila Waier heard of Bayer’s closing over the summer. She says she immediately started searching for information about the garden shop’s property on Hampton Avenue and drove to Bayer’s Imperial location to drop off a letter for the shop’s former owners.

They eventually got in contact, and the Bayers have been extremely helpful since then, Lila Waier says. Since this is her family’s first nursery, there’s a learning curve, she adds. But they look forward to following in the footsteps of a south city institution.

“We’re just really excited to continue the tradition at that location after 81 years and keep a family-owned plant nursery there,” Lila Waier says.


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