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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Secret garden

The+Antique+Rose+Emporium+is+located+about+30+minutes+from+College+Station+in+Independence%2C+Texas.
Photo by Photo by Mariah Colon

The Antique Rose Emporium is located about 30 minutes from College Station in Independence, Texas.

Nestled in the small town of Independence, the garden center of Mike Shoup’s business, the Antique Rose Emporium, brings more than just roses to the surrounding communities.
The shop features a variety of rose that’s easier to grow than newer, hybrid roses and will mail the seeds to gardeners around the country. Shoup graduated from Texas A&M in 1975 with a master’s degree in horticulture and has been cultivating his business ever since. After facing competition in the landscape industry, Shoup began focusing his attention to roses and found a niche unique to the plants he grows.
“It was really more born out of a struggle … It started out of a need to create a niche in the industry and I was fortunate enough to start a product called Old Garden Roses that fit into a program that we were growing for landscape plants in the industry,” Shoup said. “Being able to find another product allowed me to be successful and that product ended up being the roses that we found growing in essentially the backroads of Texas. [The roses] were still surviving for many years and we reintroduced those roses into the industry again.”
Shoup said the roses differ from the average rose, and through this distinction he has been able to grow his company to offer mail-order roses, rose availability to landscapers and a garden center for the community in Independence.
“Roses are beautiful but they are also associated with being very difficult to grow and needing sprays and pruning and stuff like that, the variety of roses that I grow — these older varieties — are more of a garden plant and they don’t need to be pampered with fussy sprays and pruning techniques,” Shoup said. “We are able to sell to other nurseries, to landscapers, and through mail order, and we also opened up a garden center. The garden center opened up a setting for people to walk amongst the roses and that in itself grew and allowed people to come here.”
Kelly Miller, a frequent customer of the garden center, said she has visited since the early 90’s and the nearly hour-long drive she makes each time is well worth it.
“It’s just a pretty place and they keep expanding and making things nicer, adding more and more interesting places and things to see,” Miller said.
Yazmin Gaytan, employee for the Antique Rose Emporium for two and a half years, said regular customers come back to the garden center often for its unique selection of roses.
“[People come for] the roses mainly because they are the older roses that you don’t find everywhere else … They come here for the varieties,” Gaytan said. “A lot of people that were married here also come back. There’s a ton of weddings, almost every weekend.”
Jason Irwin, a first-time visitor to the garden center, said he enjoys the variety of plants that are offered along with the roses, and sees the benefit in community environments like the Antique Rose Emporium.
“I like the variety of the vegetation … It’s not just roses; it’s all kinds of stuff, and they give advice and help you … You can read things online but somebody’s practical experience is priceless,” Irwin said. “The world needs way more of this for sure. It’s nice — it’s somewhat voluntary because they don’t charge to come in. I think this would benefit a lot of people.”
Shoup said the most rewarding part of owning the Antique Rose Emporium has been watching the company grow alongside the success and satisfaction of the customer experience.
“Watching this business grow over the years has been rewarding but also seeing the success that other people have had with these roses and the joy that it has given them,” Shoup said. “You get comments from the people that buy the roses on how wonderful they are and how they love that they are able to smell the roses again.”

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