From the Steam Plant to the Pumpkin Patch

Scott Grimmett refuses to let his cancer diagnosis prevent him from realizing his dream to own a business.

Words by Stephen W. B. Rizzo |Images by Al Blanton

“My job at Miller’s Steam Plant ended on Sunday and a new life began on Monday!”

Hearing the enthusiasm in Scott Grimmett’s voice as he talks about living his dream, you would never guess that his new life included a diagnosis of cancer. Wiping a tear from his eye, he recalls waking up from anesthesia and hearing the doctor’s words, “Man, I’m sorry.”

In late 2018, Scott began to experience troubling symptoms – pain in his hips, difficulty swallowing, and weight loss. During that same time, he and his wife, Libby, were looking to open their own business. As they pursued their entrepreneurial plans, Scott’s health continued to decline. Despite this, he affirms, “Everything happens in God’s time.” 

Throughout his sickness, he has kept his faith that “everything is in God’s hands.”

In February, just as he signed a lease for his new business, Scott was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Surgeons removed his esophagus, using a portion of his small intestine to replace it. 

Scott underwent weeks of chemo and radiation treatment. The low point was May 23, when he almost died from malnutrition and dehydration. In a matter of weeks, he moved from a feeding tube back to solid food, gaining strength for upcoming surgery in August. 

Then, doctors gave Scott some grim news—the cancer had spread. Surgery was now off the table. 

Despite the setback, Scott didn’t lose his enthusiasm for life. Even as he begins a new regimen of chemo to address the spread of cancer, he is filled with passion for the new businesses he and Libby have on 18thStreet in Jasper. With the help of his wife, friends, and the construction skills that his father taught him growing up on the family farm in Cullman County, Scott has taken an old home and detached garage on the verge of being condemned and turned them into his dream.

In addition to Libby’s business, Thairapy Salon and Spa, Scott opened The Downtown Pumpkin Patch. Adjacent to the Patch is Libby’s This and That, a collectable shop with vintage handmade wooden toys, specialty pumpkins, tasty goodies, and artwork in the quaint garage that Scott resurrected. In the fenced area, he has created a safe space in town for parents and children. “I wanted to build a place where kids could come in and get a pumpkin, get a Christmas tree, do things like that with their family,” he says.

What’s it like moving from overseeing half a billion-dollar construction projects at Miller’s Steam Plant to the Downtown Pumpkin Patch, all while fighting cancer? Ask Scott and his eyes will light up as he tells you, “I’m living my dream… it’s all in God’s plan.” 78

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