Benken Greenhouses continues to flourish as family business after 80 years

SILVERTON, Ohio — Driving along Interstate 71 through Silverton, it’s hard to imagine what is hiding atop the wooded hill that climbs up from the highway where it bends at Red Bank Expressway. If you exit and wind your way up to Plainfield Road, you’ll find it: an oasis of sorts.

John Clark’s great-great-grandparents purchased a 38-acre plot in 1939 to open HJ Benken Florist and Greenhouses. At the time, it was just a seed of a business, but in the decades since, it has blossomed — and remained in the family — for more than 80 years.

Michael Benedic/WCPO

John Clark, seen here working in July 2021, is a fourth-generation grower at HJ Benken’s Florist and Greenhouses.

“(They) were dairy farmers on the west side of Cincinnati and didn’t want to be dairy farmers anymore,” said Clark, who grew up working the greenhouses and now is Benken’s chief grower and the fourth generation running the business.

“As with any business, it…

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