On May 2, the City of Missoula will present five Missoula businesses established over 100 years ago with Heritage Business Awards.

The first to be highlighted is Caras Nursery and Landscape, which opened in 1896.

The present owner and manager, Bill Caras spoke of the history of his family’s business still at its present location on South Third Street West.

“Starting at about 1919 or 1920 my grandfather starts having a spring business of cut flowers and some dug trees, and it operates that way for a long time,” said Caras. “It’s more of a spring businesses with our year-round greenhouses supplying wholesale plants around the country honestly, but more so in Montana.”

Caras said the business continued in that manner for many years.

“Then in the late 1950’s my grandfather retired and my uncle and my dad take over the business which includes the flower shop and it’s called Garden City Floral Nursery and Greenhouse by that point,” he said. “Then they had another partner by the name of Webber who had come in early on and he was a grower. So, Ed Webber, my uncle and my dad suddenly were the owners of the business at the end of the 1950’s, but they split up in the 1960’s.”

Caras said at that point another young man with the last name of Caras took over the business.


“Then, along about 1977 this young man named Bill Caras came into the picture and has been on sort of a building, improvement and modernizing and hopefully inspiring journey to really put together a really modern facility which is what you see now.”

Other businesses to be honored include Missoula Textile, which opened in 1908, The Union Club Bar and Grill which opened in 1908, Bob Ward’s Sports and Outdoors, opening in 1917 and Missoula’s Office City, which opened in 1916.

The ceremony will be May 2 at Caras Nursery and Landscape with the keynote speaker being Amy Webb, Senior Field Director for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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