Shade Home and Garden is geared toward Millennial-generation homeowners in the Orem, Utah, area. The location of Shade Home and Garden was formerly occupied by Vineyard Garden Center, which operated for 53 years before closing in December 2015. Owners Todd Moyer (left) and J.J. Lund (right) pictured above.

Near the end of 2015, Vineyard Garden Center in Orem, Utah, closed its doors for good after 53 years in business. 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.”

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.”

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.”

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 the 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.

From left: Michelle Simakis, editor; Conner Howard, assistant editor; Stephanie Antal, graphic designer; Brooke N. Bates, contributing writer

Garden Center magazine recognized with 2017 awards

The American Society of Business Press Editors and The Press Club of Cleveland honored the editorial and design teams of the independent garden center B-2-B publication at awards ceremonies in April and June.
By Garden Center magazine staff

Valley View, Ohio — The editorial, design and contributing writer team of Garden Center magazine, a B-2-B publication serving the independent garden center industry, won several awards for their work from both the The American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) and The Press Club of Cleveland.

ASBPE, the professional association for full-time and freelance editors, writers, art directors, and designers employed in the business, trade, and specialty press, presented Garden Center magazine with five awards for 2017.

Designer Stephanie Antal won gold for the second year in a row in the Infographics category in the Heartland region, which is comprised of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia. She also won a silver National award for that same category. Antal, editor Michelle Simakis, Lawn & Landscape designer Justin Armburger and illustrator Matthew Laznicka won silver for their conceptual work on the November 2016 State of the Industry issue cover, an illustration by Laznicka.

Antal also took home the regional bronze award for Feature Article Design for her design work on “Garden art is cool again.

Simakis won a regional silver award in the Company Profile category for “Proud to Partner,” the story of how two independent garden centers in Baton Rouge came together after a devastating flood in August 2016.

Contributing writer Brooke N. Bates also took home a Bronze award for Feature Article, General Interest for her miniature gardening plant feature, “Think big, plant small.” GIE Media sister publications Greenhouse Management, Nursery Management, Cannabis Business Times and Ornamental Breeder also won several awards from ASBPE.

The staff of Garden Center magazine was also recognized with a total of five awards from the Press Club of Cleveland during the organization’s 2017 Excellence in Journalism Awards event on June 2.

In the Best in Ohio category, Garden Center was honored with the first-place award for Best Trade Publication. Simakis, assistant editor Conner Howard and Antal were all named as recipients.

“Great balance of relevant, actionable information along with compelling storytelling — a pleasure to read,” read one judge’s comment on Garden Center. “I felt that if I were a garden center owner or operator, this publication would give me information I could use to make decisions that could improve my business.”

Also in the Best in Ohio awards, Antal received the second-place award in the Infographics category for the publication’s monthly “Last Look” department.

Garden Center also won three awards in general Trade Publications categories. Simakis was awarded first place in Personality Profiles for her December 2016 cover feature, “Proud to Partner,” the story of two Baton Rouge, La., retailers that joined forces after a devastating flood damaged both businesses.

One judge noted that the article was an “inspiring example of business adaptation in the face of tremendous challenges.”

Antal, Armburger and Laznicka also received the first-place award in Trade Publication Covers for the 2016 State of The Industry Report cover page. One judge remarked that the entry displayed “informative, clear and fun design.” Howard won second place in Features: Trends under the Trade Publication category for his August 2016 cover story “Where Green is Going,” an article examining the technology and applications of green roofs. One judge called the entry an “interesting piece on [the] trend of living roof systems and their gaining popularity.”