CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Plant the seed and it will grow.
That's exactly what Guadalupe Banda did nearly 50 years ago when she opened Banda Nursery and Flower Shop at 1917 Ayers.
What started as a hobby bloomed into a family business that brings joy to customers and her loved ones.
“This is my working area,” Banda said. “I love plants and we opened in 1975. We started with the flowers because at first we would sell plants and then, later on, I went to a flower shop and bought a flower arrangement. I took it apart and put it back. I took it apart several times until I did it right. And that’s how I started with the flower shop. Sometimes, I put a bow in here."
It’s been a family affair for many of Banda’s relatives who have worked with her.
“It’s a lot of fun because I love God's creation first of all and I love plants,” said Elizabeth Banda Salazar, her daughter.”They have grown with me, and then being around my mom, she has been a very great example to me. She keeps active, she walks faster than I do sometimes. She does very well and as long as she's happy, and healthy - we're O.K. with that."
Banda, who recently turned 90, is grateful for her good health.
“I don't remember the last time I got sick,” she said. “I haven't missed one day of work in I don't know how many years. I don't imagine myself doing nothing. Although I’m 90, I’m not going to sit around and watch TV. I'm going to work as much as I can, until the end.”
Vendor Bryce Aaberg has had a long association with Banda’s business.
“Yes, I’m one of her vendors. I started selling to her in ’74,” Auberg said. “I've known her a long time. She's amazing … never thought she'd be doing this this long. She enjoys life, she enjoys plants, she loves plants. She's a big collector of all different types of plants – orchids and that type of stuff.”
Her work ethic amazes her daughter.
“Mama, they’re heavy,” she says.
Working as a florist has been a lifetime calling for Banda.
“It’s fun,” she said. “To me, it’s very relaxing and fun to work with the plants. Everybody should get into these plants. It's very relaxing and to me it’s a therapy.”
Her daughter couldn’t be prouder of what her mother has accomplished professionally and as a mother.
“She also raised six children, 21 grandkids, 50 great grandkids and 20 great-great grandkids,” Salazar said. “So that’s an accomplishment, too.”
Banda Nursery and Flower Shop is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. You can contact them on their website here or
by calling them at (361) 883-5697.