The Robinson family spent more than 30 years building Meadow View Growers into one of Clark County’s best-known businesses, and are passing the nursery on to a new owner who plans to ensure the business continues to grow.
Jeff Pack, a doctor of plant medicine, recently purchased the business and said his goal is to ensure customers continue to get the same service they’ve received at Meadow View for years. Information from the Clark County Auditor’s office show the property at 755 N. Dayton-Lakeview Road in New Carlisle was purchased for about $1.4 million.
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Scott Robinson said his family opened the business in a cornfield in 1984 and steadily improved into one of the best-known horticulture businesses in the region. Robinson said they’ll stay involved in the day-to-day operations for the foreseeable future even though they no longer own Meadow View.
“We thought it might take us some time and we’ve never sold a business before,” Robinson said. “The business is doing well. It’s solid so we’re thinking about the future.”
Part of what has made the business a success is a willingness to take creative risks, Robinson said. The business drew attention at parades and other events in Clark County with its Bloomin’ Bus. The family completely covered a full-size school bus with begonias and moss to show off at parades and other events around the area.
“We’re willing to do things some other places aren’t that are a little hairbrained,” Robinson said.
For Pack, the family’s interest in staying involved made the agreement more attractive. He said he plans to continue trying new things and plans to make sure the business will continue to thrive for years to come.
“For me, that was a key component to provide a smooth transition to such a degree that the customer couldn’t feel a difference,” he said of the transition to new ownership.
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Pack grew up in Salt Lake City and earned a degree as a doctor of plant medicine from the University of Florida. He spent several years in Honduras as a professor of horticulture at an agricultural university, then took a position in research and development with a food production company in Ecuador.
He was one of the first people to reach out when the Robinsons put the business up for sale, and the deal moved quickly from there. Pack said it was a chance to do something new in an industry he knows well. It also allows him to bring his family back to the U.S. after about a decade overseas.
One area he said he might be able to contribute something new is his knowledge of vegetables. The business may eventually offer some additional varieties that weren’t previously available.
“This is going to be an awesome learning curve,” Pack said.
One key to Meadow View’s success over the years is an ability to stand out and offer varieties of flowers and vegetables that aren’t available at larger chain stores, Robinson said. The staff also excels at developing creative ways to display products provide customers with tips, advice and ideas to ensure their projects look good, he said.
“People come here because they want to be successful and our job is to make sure they are,” Robinson said.
Robinson credited his father Earl for taking risks that made the business possible. He said Earl was also working in Chicago at the time, but initially commuted at least twice a month with supplies while Scott and other family members managed the day-to-day operations early on. It’s important the business will continue to serve customers who have been loyal to the business for decades.
“My dad basically put everything he had on the line to start it,” Scott Robinson said. “He’d be down here ever weekend and we put everything we had into it.”
By the numbers:
1984 — Year the business started
$1.4M — Estimated sale price of property
3 — Number of greenhouses the business opened with
The Springfield News-Sun will continue to provide unmatched coverage of business in Clark and Champaign Counties. For this story, the paper spoke to the owners of a popular New Carlisle business that has served area customers since 1984.