By Neil P. Allen
RUTLAND — The pandemic has proved to be a mixed bag when it comes to the impact on businesses. For some, it resulted in the closing their business. For others, it led to the opportunity to expand their business.
When Park Place Florist closed a year ago after having been in business in Rutland for nearly 40 years, it provided Garland’s Farm and Garden the opportunity to expand not only the size of the business but also the services offered.
This is the first major expansion since Paul Garland took over the Agway franchise in 1984. It’s also taking him into a new area of business with flower arrangements.
“We hadn’t really planned on doing this, but it’s a good opportunity,” said Garland, owner of the farm and garden store.
The pandemic has been a boon for the business that left him well positioned to expand, according to Garland.
“People were home-centric,” he said. “Anything that happened in their backyard was of interest. That included backyard gardens.”
With the pandemic came a shortage of many products, including garden tools. Garland said he tries to be proactive in his ordering. In response, he expanded the two or three weeks of lead time he usually allows up to five or six weeks this year, only to find he would have to wait 10 to 12 weeks for some products.
“When you’re dealing with seasonal merchandise, that makes it difficult,” he said.
Garland said they’re keeping the name and calling it Garland’s Park Place.
“Hopefully, it’s going to be the same quality and same type of experience people were used to when Jerry Henrichon owned it,” said Garland.