In this week’s Retail Roundup column, one Floyd County Christmas tree business has expanded.
Like most retail stores, John Houston’s family business was open for Black Friday. But most of their customers weren’t looking for slashed prices or good deals, but for long-held traditions.
As the owner of Sweet Providence Farm, based in Floyd County, Houston has grown and sold Christmas trees at the farm’s satellite location at Tanglewood Mall for the past eight years. He said he sees many of the same customers year after year who come to take home one of the farm’s fresh firs and pines as part of their family traditions.
The business has done well and spread by word-of-mouth so much that this year for the first time, Sweet Providence Farm has a second lot, at Valley View Mall.
“People will support small businesses that do a really good quality job,” Houston said.
The Christmas tree lot made its debut at Valley View on Friday. Its familiar location at Tanglewood has been open for the past week. He said they were excited to show off more of their trees in Roanoke, especially this year. The farm was honored by the Christmas Tree Growers Association and selected to have one of its 8-foot Christmas evergreens in the governor’s mansion this December.
Customers can also purchase trees at the farm in Floyd County.
Also in the column, which you can see here, Christine Hastings, the former manager of Ram’s Head books is now managing a new nonprofit bookstore in Roanoke.
She is now managing Canterbury Books and Gifts, a new nonprofit bookstore that quietly moved into a building on Mountain Avenue connected to St. John’s Episcopal Church.
The church owns the newly developed bookstore, and all the proceeds go to St. John’s Outreach Ministries. The store is not just a Christian bookstore. Hastings, who is in the process of ordering more books and building up its stock, said it will have plenty of bestsellers and popular titles to choose from in time.
“We are trying to fill the Ram’s Head void,” Hastings said.