IN THE BEGINNING...
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Some 2000 years later, Charlie created a small landscape and nursery business. It all started in February of 1976 when a friend asked Charlie if he would possibly be interested in helping him landscape his new home. Now Charlie and his friend Pete worked full time at a local bank in Boise, but the challenge sounded exciting and thus, a new business was born.
Charlie named the new company G & H Nursery (the last names of both individuals) and for the next two years, it went by that name. Pete really had no interest in the landscape and nursery industry, only to landscape his home and when that was completed, he had no further interest. Charlie however, took what classes were offered at Boise State College at the time and never looked back at giving up on the landscape and nursery business.
In the spring of 1979, Charlie purchased several acres of property on Ustick Road near Milwaukee Street in Boise, now the location of a Boise Fire Department building. He changed the name of his business in 1979 to FarWest Landscape & Garden Center when he made the move to Ustick. From this location, he purchased nursery stock and landscaped properties in and around Boise. His first true semi-load of nursery stock came in and he didn’t know how much work was involved in unloading and moving a semi-load of nursery material (by himself) would be. Never the less, while working full time banking (he had to make a living and the nursery business didn’t pay the bills), evenings and weekends were dedicated to the landscape and nursery business. Charlie continued to work part time at this business and in 1985, decided to purchase property at 5728 W. State Street in Boise, along with his wife Mary. She was the backbone of the business and worked there full time as Charlie was first a banker, then a nurseryman. In 1989, business was good at FarWest and in the spring of that year, he retired as a vice-president from the banking business.
For the first year in business at this location (1985), he settled on an agreement with the property owner which allowed him to lease the property with the understanding that if the business was not viable, the owner would get the property back and no further obligation would be accessed. Well, guess what? The business was not able to even cover costs that year or for the next two years, however Charlie felt that his love for the landscape and nursery business was enough to continue forward. He made the offer to purchase the business from the property owner, Don Sabala and for the next two years, payments were made to Mr. Sabala. In the spring of 1987, Charlie found better interest rates at a local bank and thus obtained a mortgage loan on the property.
Now his business was not just banking and the nursery business. Throughout his career, he spent 20 years in the Army/Air National Guard, owned/co-owned numerous rentals, co-owned a printing business, and bought and sold several autos and trucks for additional income. Needless to say, he truly enjoyed working, but in 1999, Charlie decided to leave the nursery industry, at least for a short period of time. Charlie then sold FarWest Landscape & Garden Center to Dennis Fix, an outstanding employee of the company. The agreement was written on one sheet of paper and Dennis never missed a payment. Turns out that some future co-owners were not as honest as he.
The year 2000 created another opportunity for Charlie to invest in the nursery business. He, along with another investor purchased property out of bankruptcy. The property was built a few years prior as a garden center, so the investment seemed a great opportunity. So, prior to the purchase, Charlie formed a new company as a proprietorship and named the new company, The Home & Garden Store. After some time passed, Charlie and the new co-owner made the purchase of this property through the bankruptcy court. He then spent that year building a formable relationship with many avid gardeners in the Treasure Valley. This location was quite large and included a very large greenhouse attached to the main building along with 4 separate stand-alone greenhouses located upon the property. Success there was tremendous, however the relationship of the co-owner’s was less desirable than the one Charlie had with Mr. Fix. So, he sold his interest in that business and moved forward.
In 2001, Charlie created yet another nursery with another co-owner. After 5 more years in the nursery industry, they sold the business. Thinking retirement was a good option, he settled down working part-time for a local company in Boise. That lasted for a few years. Older but not wanting to retire completely, his grand-daughter indicated she would like to be involved in the nursery business. Great! The opportunity to start again and work for free (that’s the best way to start any business).
So, here is the beginning of a new business with an old name, The Home & Garden Store. It’s a family owned business with Charlie’s grand children sharing ownership, along with Dennis C., a fabulous co-owner. Things sometimes start out well and sometimes end up well. Let’s forget some of the middle.