Near the end of 2015, Vineyard Garden Center in Orem, Utah, closed its doors for good after 53 years of operation. The future of the storefront was uncertain until Shade Home and Garden opened this past spring in the former Vineyard location.
Grant Holdaway, owner of the property and former operator of Vineyard Garden Center, is currently leasing the store to business partners Todd Moyer and J.J. Lund, who manage the property as Shade Home and Garden. Moyer says the idea to launch Shade Home and Garden came about during a meeting with Holdaway and his nephew, whom Moyer and Lund were acquainted with.
"They were looking at options for what to do with the property," Moyer says of Holdaway and his nephew. "We knew his nephew pretty well and we’d seen the property several times when he closed it, so we were interested, but we really didn’t do anything about it until his nephew came and approached us."
Shade Home and Garden is geared toward the Millennial-generation homeowners in the Orem area.
Compared to his other options for leasing the property - one possibility was making the store into a storage unit facility - Holdaway was excited for the storefront to remain a garden retailer.
"As soon as we gave him the option, [Holdaway] was excited about keeping it as a nursery," Moyer says. He was happy with that."
Getting the former garden center into shape for the opening of a new business was an involved process, Moyer says. The entire retail space had to be revamped to fit the Shade Home and Garden concept.
"We gutted it. All the greenhouses, we didn’t mess with, but as far as the store space, we completely gutted," Moyer says. "He had four acres of field next to him … so, we filled the whole field with bigger trees. We had to do a lot of those changes, but the main thing we’ve spent time on is updating the store."
The location of Shade Home and Garden was formerly occupied by Vineyard Garden Center, which operated for 53 years before closing in December 2015.
Shade Home and Garden's opening in May was met with good results, but Moyer and Lund are bringing in social media consultants to build the retailer's presence on Instagram and other platforms. After being closed for more than a year, Moyer says it's important to get the word out about the new store.
"[Vineyard was] closed for a little over a year, so reopening has been good, but we’re doing a lot with social media, trying to get people coming," Moyer says.
Although Shade Home and Garden welcomes regular and returning customers who frequented Vineyard Garden Center, Moyer says he and Lund are targeting a different clientele than the previous business tended to attract.
"We’re not the same place, by any means," Moyer says. "We try to keep the old customers able to shop here but it’s not necessarily our focus. We’re tending more toward the 20- to 40-year-olds but [Vineyard’s] customer base was a little older than that. We get a great response from the changes we’ve made, but our one negative is just that we don’t have the same vegetables, because [Vineyard] was growing some unique vegetables that no one else grows. That stuff, we’re still working into our process."
The retail displays at Shade Home and Garden are intended to inspire customers to attempt similar landscapes at their homes.
In order to set Shade Home and Garden apart as a new and Millennial-focused retail nursery, Moyer attempts to build displays that showcase possible landscape designs and give customers ideas to take home.
"I wanted to fill [a display] like it was a landscape, so that people can get an idea of how to incorporate those things into their own lawn," Moyer says. "We really try hard and spend a lot of time dressing up our floor space so someone could take exact same thing and put it in their yard."
As Moyer and Lund continue to establish the Shade Home and Garden brand, they hope to gradually renovate their storefront and expand their services, including hosting special events and classes.
"We’re going to be doing wedding receptions there, so we’re going to be building that out and turning that whole area into a little more of a destination for doing classes," Moyer says.
Pictured above: Shade Home and Garden owners Todd Moyer, left, and J.J. Lund, right.
All photos courtesy of Todd Moyer.