WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Dallas/Fort Worth District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration has named Smith’s Gardentown of Wichita Falls as the Family-Owned Small Business of the Year for 2022.
The locally owned garden superstore received the honor ahead of hundreds of other small businesses in a 72-county district that includes Dallas, Fort Worth, East Texas and as far south as Waco.
In order to qualify for this award, a given business must be owned by the same family, experience growth in sales and staff size, and overcome adversity.
And, overcoming adversity is something Smith’s has done time and time again.
“We have certainly overcome quite a lot of adversity over the years,” Katherine Smith, owner of Smith’s Gardentown said. “In fact, we have qualified for and repaid four separate SBA Disaster Loans over the past 5 decades.”
The first SBA loan was to rebuild the nursery after a devastating hail storm in April of 1964. The second was to rebuild after the Terrible Tuesday tornado in April, 1979.
The third was to help recover from the drought of 2011 through 2015, then the fourth during the Covid shutdowns in 2020.
“Although we appreciate the SBA being there for us through all these disasters, I fervently hope we never have to apply for another disaster loan again!” Smith said.
Smith’s was started by Katherine Smith’s grandfather and father Curtis Smith in about 1949, then was continued by Katherine and her two brothers, Steve and Doug.
Now her son, Michael Fiore, represents the fourth generation of the family to operate the business.
Over the years, Smith’s has been named Texas Family-owned Business of the Year by the Baylor College of Business; a Texas Treasure heritage business; one of the Top 100 Garden Centers in North America several years in a row; Wichita Falls Small Business of the Year by the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce; winner of the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for marketplace integrity; and of course, Texoma’s Best for many years.