In 1938, at the enterprising age of 20, Jim Berridge Jr. opened Berridge Nurseries on Central Avenue at Earll Drive, and began a life-long commitment to provide the Valley top quality products and expert service.
He moved the nursery in 1952 to Camelback Road and 16th Street, expanding the nursery to 21 acres for its wholesale and retail needs. Additionally, he sublet to a patio furniture store, and at the time, a new specialty sandwich shop, Duck ‘N Decanter. Then, in July 1971, two 11-year-old boys started a series of fires in Northeast Phoenix, with one fire destroying the nursery structure. Jim rebuilt, and nine years later, sold to make way for restaurants, retail and office space. Developers were inspired by the 30-year-old lush eucalyptus trees surrounding the property, naming the new complex Arboleda, “The Grove”. To this day, the trees Jim planted thrive and provide a shaded lunch at Duck ‘N Decanter.
When the nursery moved to its current location on Camelback Road and 46th Street, Jim created yet a new environment, with open wood structures and meandering pathways through the grounds. It was summer, and he said, “Let’s fill the nursery with flowers.”
Today, the nursery remains the family's business. Meredith Walton serves as its President and is a member of the Board of Visitors, the oldest charitable organization in the Valley that serves the healthcare needs of women, children and the elderly. Her daughters, Melinda Walton and Christine Fortman, have become the third generation to own and operate the business.