The Claycord Online Museum – A Matchbook (?!) From The Old Navlet’s Garden Center on Monument Blvd.

July 21, 2021 14:00 pm · 20 comments


This is a matchbook cover for the old Navlet’s Garden Center on Monument Blvd. in Concord.

This was located where the homes on Nursery Dr. currently stand.

Who remembers visiting this Navlet’s, and why were they giving away matches????

ABOUT THE CLAYCORD ONLINE MUSEUM: The Claycord Online Museum is made up of historical photos, documents & anything else that has to do with the history of our area.

If you have any old photos or items that you’d like to place in the Claycord Online Museum, just scan or take a photo of them, and send them to the following address: It doesn’t matter what it is, even if it’s just an old photo of your house, a scan of an old advertisement or an artifact that you’d like us to see, send it in and we’ll put it online!

Click on the tag below titled “Claycord Online Museum” to view other items!

Old Otis July 21, 2021 at 2:36 PM

Does anyone remember Navco, the rock and soil behind Navlets?
I worked there in the late 70’s as a dump truck driver delivering rock and soil.

Original G July 21, 2021 at 3:55 PM

Yup, sure do ! Remember it as just about always busy and was
impressed as a kid watching loading and tractor handling going on out in back.

Spent some of my limited funds at Navelet’s while going to DVC.
When younger went there with my Father a few times a year and used to listen to Burt’s radio program the ”Dirt Gardener”, think it was on KCBS. But don’t recall TV station.

Randy July 21, 2021 at 4:40 PM

yup – sure do…. I bought enough there where I had to rent a trailer a few times to bring it all home

Silva July 22, 2021 at 7:13 AM

Oh, that’s funny! I thought it was part of Navlets.

OverWhelmed July 21, 2021 at 2:47 PM

As a kid, we lived in the apartments right next door. I remember one Christmas my mom was too poor to even get a Christmas tree. We went to Navlets after they closed and pushed one over the fence. Mom never did figure out where we got it from. Or if she did, she never said anything.

Dawg July 21, 2021 at 3:17 PM

I bought a lot of houseplants from Navlet’s. Their plants were always healthy and lived a long time. As for the free matches, a lot of businesses gave them away with their name and/or logo on them. It was cheap advertising and before smoking in public was banned.
When I was a little kid, I remember my mom buying a pack of cigarettes from a vending machine, and a book of matches would come out with the cigarette pack. Not only that, but cigarettes were 23 cents a pack, so she put in a quarter and the cigarette pack had two pennies in change wrapped in the cellophane. She gave my sister and I each a penny, and we would buy bubblegum. Not long after that, mom gave up smoking, so we had to find another way to finance our bubblegum habit.

Martinezmike July 21, 2021 at 3:40 PM

That was probably a 90% silver quarter. Today selling for about 7 dollars. Pennies were made of solid copper.

Oh Yeah! July 21, 2021 at 4:55 PM

That was my very first paid job! I loved working there! The employees were great, and Bert Bertolero was a wonderful boss! Gave you raises for learning more about plants and gardening! (the you knew, the more effective you would be)
So sad when I had to leave for college, and even sadder when they moved it from the Monument location!!!

Kurt July 21, 2021 at 7:28 PM

When I first moved to Concord in 1999 I bought my first plant there for my new house. The plant was called “Veteran Rose” and it’s still growing strong today in my front yard 22 years later. It’s still the best smelling rose I’ve ever smelled. They closed shortly after I bought it.

Cowellian July 21, 2021 at 8:39 PM

We always enjoy that Navlet’s never got any matches. We also liked their new store, but it was a lot harder to get into.

Dr. Jellyfinger July 22, 2021 at 7:54 AM

You have to wait until they open at 8:30 am… then it’s easy.

Cowellian July 22, 2021 at 9:23 AM

Open! Open! Open!

Old Otis July 21, 2021 at 9:45 PM

I would have delivered it for you!
I think it was a 3 cu yard min for FREE delivery.

Antler July 22, 2021 at 1:38 AM

Beginning n 1960, we landscaped both our first (and then our second, present home) with plants and materials from there. We also armed ourselves with a long list of questions and went to Bert’s Saturday classes.
My favorite area to browse was on the far left alongside an auxiliary building (remember the soft drink machine?) because that’s where they had long aisles of ground covers….. amazing plants (to me, because of having moved here from NC with its own specialty plants): cacti, succulents, beautiful mosses (especially Scottish moss, which actually likes sunshine), Eucalyptus trees, bottlebrushs, Oleanders…. wondrous!

Silva July 22, 2021 at 7:27 AM

I loved that store! We bought many very healthy plants there. Many businesses had a bowl of complimeneary matches with their name and related graphics at the registers. We weren’t smokers, but we had complimentary matches in our kitchen drawer. Non smokers frequently needed matches also, and you never had to buy them back then.

Ricardoh July 22, 2021 at 10:22 AM

Didn’t move to this area until 1979 and I can’t remember a Navlets on monument. When did it close and where was it located ?

OverWhelmed July 22, 2021 at 12:04 PM

@ Ricardoh
Navlets was on Monument next to the Mountain View apartments. There are now ugly houses on the property. They moved to Pleasant hill over by the St Vincent DePauls thrift store. There is another plant store there now. Navlets move sometime in the early 2000’s? I just got married and we had purchased at least 2 years worth of Christmas trees from them. They are missed. Never get plants like they had anymore.

chuckie the troll July 22, 2021 at 12:14 PM

Bought many plants there. The most memorable was 6 bare root roses I ordered from their catalogue. They were a Christmas gift for my parents who had just bought a brand new home in Auburn. They were spectacular.

KAD July 22, 2021 at 6:22 PM

Loved that store. Bought many Christmas trees from there.

james boehner July 22, 2021 at 9:02 PM

I remember that place in fact I had a sister that worked there.

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