Located at 5601 Folsom Blvd., Talini’s has built a longtime reputation for providing its customers with such nursery items as perennials, annuals, shrubs, seeds, ground covers, natural weed killers, all-natural insecticides and pesticides, gardening equipment, concrete statuary, potteries and various gift items.
Although the name of this nursery would perhaps cause one who has knowledge of Italian names to blurt out, “Now, that’s Italian,” the business has a much deeper Italian connection than its name alone.
Named for Italian immigrant
Like many businesses that include the name of their founders in their names, Pietro Talini’s Nursery is no different – as the business was established by Italian immigrant Pietro Talini in 1976.
The road to Pietro’s founding of this popular East Sacramento nursery began with his arrival in America in the 1940s.
Departing from his former home in the town of Segromigno in Monte, near Lucca, Italy, Pietro came to the United States to reunite with his wife, Evole, and his son, Lou, who had made their way to America about six months earlier.
The family, which later included Pietro and Evole’s second son, Alfred, initially lived in the Monterey area before making their way to Stockton, where they resided until about 1952, at which time they began their longtime residency in East Sacramento.
The first of the Talinis’ East Sacramento homes was located at 925 52nd St., where the family lived until moving to 1116 49th St. by about 1957.
In about 1961, Pietro purchased the last of his East Sacramento homes, which resulted in a very simple move for the family, since this third house is located only about a block away from the 49th Street house.
Site of Stefani’s Nursery
Pietro, who was a landscape gardener with experience operating his own nursery in a small building on 51st Street in East Sacramento for a short period of time during the 1950s, purchased the former Stefani’s Nursery building, which was constructed in about 1952.
Following the early 1970s closure of Stefani’s, the building sat vacant for about three years.
Lou, 64, said that although the structure had been purchased by the Marie Callender’s pie shop and restaurant chain, there was “a problem with the zoning.”
“I don’t know what the problem was (with the zoning), but (the site) was later placed on the market and we bought it from them,” Lou said. “I remember (the property) had weeds on it that were two feet tall.”
Started as landscaping business
Pietro, who had a degree in horticulture from a university in Florence, Italy and obtained his contractor’s license in California, acquired the site in 1976 as a place where he could store his landscaping equipment.
Pietro’s Folsom Boulevard building, which was originally a place where customers could purchase leftover materials from construction jobs, eventually evolved into the popular nursery that it is today.
This evolution is evident through telephone book listings during the business’s earliest years. These books list the business as Talini Landscaping Co., while later books listed the landscape company, as well as the name Talini’s Nursery and Garden Supplies, a name that was later slightly altered to its present name, Talini’s Nursery and Garden Center.
The nursery has continued its growth through Lou Talini, who took over the ownership of the business following his father’s death in 1984.
Lou, a 1964 graduate of Bishop Armstrong High School, takes pride in the success of his nursery, which has been assisted through its line of managers, Steve Zien, Sandy Cappelletti, Jackson McCarty and Jill Franklin.
In complimenting his father’s character and knowledge in the nursery business, Lou said that Pietro was very intelligent, “honest and he would give his shirt off his back to somebody who needed help.”
“He was always willing to help somebody and he was a good businessman and he taught me everything I know,” Lou said. “I don’t think I’ll ever learn as much as he did though. He’s way ahead of me.”
Although Lou, who resides in East Sacramento and Walnut Creek, is not an everyday presence in the store, he is far from a silent owner. Instead, he splits his time between working at the nursery and working on commercial landscape construction jobs from the East Bay to Sacramento.
In addition to Lou’s knowledge and business experience at the nursery, the business is aided through the knowledge and professional service of Franklin, who manages the store and a staff of about seven employees.
Franklin, who grew up in Elk Grove and resides in midtown Sacramento, was studying horticulture at American River College when she was hired to work at Talini’s in 1997. She became the nursery’s manager four years later.
Talini’s, Franklin explained, is a great place to work, not only due to her love of horticulture, but because “it’s a great store.”
“(Talini’s) has always had a rustic, little charm about it,” Franklin said. “I’ve always tried to keep that feel going. It’s charming and there’s something to keep you interested around every corner.”
Talini’s is much more than a Folsom Boulevard storefront, as it also includes two-thirds of an acre of property with hundreds upon hundreds of perennials and annuals. The business consists of many corners.
As a bit of history, at the back of the property sits the former home of Carlo Stefani at the former address of 1421 56th St. At least one member of the Stefani family resided in the house from about 1919 to about the early 1980s.
Continuing this historic Folsom Boulevard property’s longtime tradition of presenting a successful Italian-owned nursery, Lou said that Talini’s will carry forth its efforts to expand and offer more products that are hard to find anywhere else, along with the common items that are expected to be available at a quality nursery.
Talini’s Nursery is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For additional information regarding this business, call (916) 451-8150.