About Us


Welcome to Sweet Bay Nursery!

Sweet Bay Nursery was started in 1995 by Tom Heitzman. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Horticulture, 

Tom has a wealth of knowledge and experience about the culture and landscape use of native plants. 

Tom is past-president of Serenoa Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, past co-president of FANN and past-president of Manatee County Audubon. He is currently a board member of these organizations volunteering his expertise to improve the local environment.  

Richard Beaupre has been a part owner since 2008. Richard is a bridge engineer who loves plants especially natives. Richard has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida and Master of Science in Structural Engineering from the University of Texas. His design expertise and knowledge of Florida native plants brings another level of professionalism to the nursery.​


Cindy Shore Coats came on board in 2017. She has a Fine Arts degree from Florida State University and studied landscape architecture and horticulture in South Florida where she worked for famed landscape architect Raymond Jungles. Cindy has a sincere passion for native plants, gardening, and helping people, which makes her a great asset to the team.


Tom working with customers during Manatee County Farm Week.


Richard helping a customer choose the right plant.

Sweet Bay Staff


The knowledgable staff at Sweet Bay Nursery is here to help with your plant selections and questions.

From left to right: Richard, Nancy, Cindy, Erica, Evelia, Elvia, Blanca, and Tom.