Family Feud Withered West Chester’s Waterloo Gardens, a Main Line Icon for 70 Years

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Waterloo Gardens, Exton
Waterloo Gardens, Exton.

West Chester-based Waterloo Gardens was a Main Line mainstay for over seven decades until family friction interfered. J.F. Pirro covered its long freefall into insolvency for Main Line Today.

Financial troubles started to mount for the LeBoutillier family, the business’ owners, in 2008. Its new Warminster location, an expansion of the brand in Bucks County, quickly became a $10 million failure.

Its Wilmington garden center suffered a similar fate. It closed in 2011, the same year Zelinda (Linda) LeBoutillier died.

Her only son, Roberts, became the next and last Waterloo Gardens’ CEO and president.

He and one of his four sisters, Susan, were the two of the five children who stayed with the company during its final years. After working as equals for decades, their mother began shifting more authority to Roberts before her death.

After Linda died, she gave her son majority control. He then ordered a seasonal layoff at the end of 2011. Susan decided not to return and ventured out on her own with LeBeau Gardens in Downingtown.

Roberts struggled to restart the failing business, but by the summer of 2013, he found himself with little choice but to throw in the towel. Its much-loved Devon store and the Exton location were the last two shuttered.

Read more about Waterloo Gardens’ unfortunate demise in Main Line Today.

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