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Meadow View turns competition green with envy

Rodney and Lisa Grugin manage a growing business that has competitors green with envy. The Grugins manage Meadow View Greenhouses and Garden Center, a plant nursery on U.S. Highway 11 in Lenoir City that is part of a family-owned botanical empire.

PWP Greenhouses Inc., based in Pall Mall, is the owner of Meadow View and members of Lisa’s family run the company. Rodney said the company is located on the 300-acre Pile family farm and has more than 48 greenhouses on the property.

“The majority of our inventory we get from the farm,” he said. “The advantage to our customers is, if we are out of something, we can have it here within a day.”

Rodney said Meadow View developed as a retail outlet for PWP, which was selling to other companies’ retail outlets.

The location between Lenoir City and Farragut was chosen for its accessibility by residents of both areas.

“Lisa came on board to just help out with the books initially,” Rodney said. “There were some personnel issues and the company discovered they couldn’t run a retail business from Pall Mall. I came in around nineteen ninety-eight.”

After running a gutter company in Knoxville, Rodney said he found running a nursery challenging.

“One of our biggest challenges was visibility,” he said. “We are set back off the highway and, unless people know you’re here, they don’t think to look.”

People did start visiting the business, which specializes in color plants. Rodney said these include perennials and annuals.

Some of the better selling varieties include impatiens, begonias, pansies and petunias.

As the years went by, Rodney said the business grew in size and in the variety of products it carried.

“We did do some landscaping for a time, but there were too many difficulties in that field,” he said. “There’s a different set of challenges with the retail aspect of the business as opposed to the landscaping portion of it.”

They currently have about 10,000 square feet of space.

“We expanded a little each year,” he said. “We try to carry different types of products that the [retail] stores don’t carry.”

Once the customers do come into the store, Rodney said, they come back and they tell their friends about Meadow View.

“I believe it’s the quality of our plants and our customer service that keeps our customers coming back,” he said. “Like most people, if I have a choice of going to a place that’s friendly or one that isn’t, I’ll go where they are friendly. We try to know all our customers.”

He said customers also come to visit Moses, their dog. Moses is a large Akita whose unusual fur color resembles that of a cow.

Rodney said the business has no plans to expand with other retail outlets. Meadow View has enough opportunities to grow where it is and the owners plan on capitalizing on those opportunities before expanding.

“There’s still quite a few things we can do around here,” he said. “We’re going to make the most of our opportunities.”


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