In 1973, Laura Ann Cuomo and her brother Anthony, young entrepreneurs, opened a fruit and vegetable stand on the Federal Plaza parking lot on County Rd., Route 17 in Monroe. Later they moved across the street to the location that became known as Laura Ann Farms. A small pickup truck there was stacked high with fruits and vegetables seven days a week. They developed a reputation for attentiveness--helping families pick the right pumpkin for Halloween or the right flowers for a special occasion.
Within five years the roadside fruit stand expanded, and the Cuomos purchased land for greenhouses, flower design and a farm at Anthony’s home, where they grew much of the produce. The Cuomos are a close family who have worked hard for decades, and their children eventually joined them to develop the garden center.
As they expanded their business and family, becoming Laura Ann Farms, Garden Center & Greenhouse, they also ventured into community enhancements, donating plants for storefronts, lampposts, squares, even toll booths. Laura Ann’s Garden Center became a community staple, but it will close at the end of July with their retirement, after 49 years. Laura, Anthony and Doreen Cuomo will settle in Florida, they said.
In parting, they leave the Village of Monroe a donation of $5,000 for fireworks. “We’re gonna go out with a Bang!” said Laura and Anthony.