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Alumni Spotlight: Karyn (Smith) Cable

Karyn SmithBrookfield Central Class of 1978

Karyn Cable is a Lancer alum who has owned and operated Watertown Greenhouse with her husband since 1991.

Karyn's educational journey took her from Dixon Elementary to Pilgrim Park Middle School and Brookfield Central High School. "Elmbrook provided me with a great public education," reflected Cable, "The facilities and teachers both created a rich learning environment. I am especially thankful for all the lessons that my art teacher, Kathy Barnes, taught me."

Following her graduation from BCHS in 1978, Cable attended the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire where she took classes in the fields of horticulture (the practice of garden cultivation and management) and business. When Karyn was 20, she married Stuart Cable and their mutual love for horticulture started them on their journey. Stuart's horticultural sales took them to Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia for a number of years before they eventually returned to Brookfield. While Stuart continued to travel the U.S. for his job, Karyn raised their family of three children. "Our oldest child began school by attending Dixon Elementary and that was a uniquely odd feeling of coming full circle," joked Karyn.

In 1991, Karyn and Stuart made the decision to purchase Watertown Greenhouse in Watertown, WI. Founded in 1911, the Cables became the fourth owners with Karyn in charge of the company's business and Stuart tending to the planning and growing of the plants. During their first year, they focused on spring plants and poinsettias and over the years, their crops became Spring plants, poinsettias, mums, and other wholesale and retail favorites. "I've loved raising our family with the greenhouse and home on the same property, planning each year's different plants, and watching the difference our company has made by giving back to our community and schools. This business has been wonderful," said Karyn.

Through the years, Karyn has been an active volunteer in her children's classrooms and on their schools' PTOs, in addition to teaching Sunday School, running committees, and serving as council president at her church. Karyn also volunteered on the municipal board, was an Alderperson (6th District) for five years, and served as a literacy tutor for the Jefferson County Literacy Council.

After over 20 years at the Greenhouse, the Cables started growing hydroponic basil at the suggestion of their son in 2014 and added a new state-of-the-art greenhouse facility. They later added hydroponic lettuce to their supply and have expanded their business into 30 grocery stores in the Milwaukee and Madison areas, and several restaurants around Watertown.

Today, Karyn and Stuart are looking forward to retirement in the coming future and passing down the greenhouse to its fifth generation of owners. You can learn more about Watertown Greenhouse by visiting their website at watertowngreenhouse.com.


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