Our Big Idea
Born from a great passion for gardening and community, we dreamed of opening a hometown garden center with an emphasis on knowledgeable and personal customer service. At the time, I (Stacy) was in a successful marketing position. I (Warren) had a career of my own. With two stable jobs, we thought of it as a retirement dream. A “someday” idea. The more we talked, the more we discovered there really was a need for a business like this in the area. Just for fun, we looked for locations. If we were to open this business, where could we possibly do it? With a small town like Greenwood Lake, there are few locations where it could work.
Put On Hold
The more we researched the area, we kept coming back to one location. An old Orange and Rockland substation that had been completely empty since the late 60’s located right on Windermere Ave. We attempted to contact the owner over and over. we called and sent letters, but no response. After we got nowhere on this property, we decided to put the idea on the shelf and start selling homegrown flowers and veggie plants from our backyard. A few weeks into our new home-based business, we volunteered for a community cleanup.
During the cleanup, we started talking to the Mayor of Greenwood Lake. We discussed our dream, and asked her for her opinion. Could this business work? If so, where would be the best location in Greenwood Lake? Her response? The very same substation! While discussing further, we explained that we couldn’t get in touch with the owner. The Mayor replied that the location just got sold to a new owner, she had the info on her desk, and to call her Monday morning and she would pass it along.
Well we did, and the new owner just happened to be at the location. We met with the owner to discuss if this would be a possibility. After some back and forth we came to an agreement. Now during this whole process, I (Stacy) became pregnant with our first child. This had a huge influence on our decision. We decided that it was much more important, to raise our new child in an environment that had the beauty and respect for nature than to send her off to daycare while mommy worked a job in an office.
However nothing was set in stone and we had a big decision to make. The night before we needed to finalize our decision, we stopped by to look over the property. While we were discussing if we should or should not take this huge chance, a man stumbled up to us on the sidewalk. We spoke about the property, how wonderful the location was, and how someone should open a business there. As quick as he came, he disappeared into the night. We thought this must have been a sign, and agreed to take the leap into opening our own business and started the task of getting it approved from the village.
This was not an easy task, this was an empty building with no running water, or bathroom. However, we worked through the process and opened on June 5th, 2011. It was an exciting time for this husband and wife team. It was also very scary. Neither of us had any business back ground. Only a passion for plants, and the people in their community.
We Did It!
We worked very hard during this time, and our new child was coming soon. Can we mention, they still had no running water or restrooms? Let me say, it was difficult to keep the plants healthy and watered in the spring and summer. Luckily, we had great neighbors that would lend us the water. I don’t remember if we ever returned the water! We learned a lot in the following weeks, and months. Mostly about our customers’ needs and what it took to run a business.
Since opening our first location, we have since moved the business to a new location, still in Greenwood Lake, for expansion. The new location is not only larger, but has many more features the old location didn’t. This includes parking, and heat. Oh yeah, our first location didn’t have any heat either.
It has grown from a small place that only sold plants, to a year round store that sells everything from gifts, and local produce, to jewelry, toys and even local raw honey.
As we work to provide more products to our customers, we still come back to the same beliefs. Knowledgeable and friendly customer service are some of the most important things to us, and we believe it shows.
Stacy & Warren