Soleil Garden Center readies for May 4 grand opening

Soleil Garden Center readies for May 4 grand opening
Soleil Garden Center readies for May 4 grand opening

READY FOR BUSINESS — Soleil Garden Center owners (from left) Crystal and Charles Meade and managers Heather Edwards and Micah Barnes said they are ready for the center’s grand opening May 4.
Spring brings much-awaited change with longer days, warm sun and budding flowers. This spring also brings an exciting new business to the area, the Soleil (pronounced So-lay) Garden Center.   
Soleil Garden Center is owned and operated by Union City residents Charles and Crystal Meade. They would like to invite you to join them for their grand opening extravaganza on Saturday, May 4 featuring live bands, great food, fun for kids and plants galore.
Soleil offers a full assortment of plants, trees and shrubs plus gardening tools and supplies. But there’s a lot more. Soleil Garden Center is also home to Crystal’s boutique. Crystal’s carries an eclectic variety of candles, fragrances, jewelry, furnishings, bath and beauty items, and local artwork displayed in a lovely rustic showroom.
To Charles and Crystal, the opening of Soleil Garden Center represents the serendipitous intersection of dreams with opportunity. Both Charles and Crystal had dreams for owning their own business. Charles’ dreams were of plants, especially geraniums. He inherited his green thumb from his Grandfather Meade who grew huge geraniums that were the envy of his small town. Crystal’s dreams were also influenced by her two grandfathers. Grandfather Bennett “Ras” Johnson made wonderful carvings from reclaimed wood at Reelfoot Lake. Grandfather John Barnes made rustic furniture. Crystal long dreamt of owning a boutique that featured similar offerings from local artists with other special items gathered with loving attention from around the world. Charles and Crystal’s dreams intersected with opportunity on May 5, 2012.
Charles and Crystal were visiting Union City garage sales when, by chance, they came across an auction of the Virgin Nursery equipment and property. Their long term dreams became an immediate reality when they bought the property. They spent the next few days reviewing the state of the property and laying out a long-term vision for their business. Crystal’s brother, Micah Barnes joined the adventure and they started work. Other Barnes, Johnson and Meade family members joined in making Soleil Garden Center a true family affair.
The initial focus started with the main building to provide a home for Crystal’s boutique. The main building and outdoor pavilions were in desperate need of significant repairs as well as some simple tender loving care. Four of the original 12 greenhouses were repaired and activated. Today, as the grand opening approaches, the active greenhouses and pavilions are bustling with plants and Crystal’s boutique is full of charming merchandise and artwork.
When, talking about the Soleil Garden Center, Charles Meade notes that a full range of annual and perennial plants are stocked as well as shrubs and trees. Importantly, he says, the items you will find at Soleil will be “bigger, bolder, and more beautiful” than what is now locally available. For example, he has created exquisite hanging baskets such as “Golden Tornado,” “Rebel,” “Island Dream,” and “Pool Candy.” Lawn and garden decorative items such as fountains and wind chimes are also available. Tools, fertilizers, planting soils and landscape design services round out the offerings. Not surprisingly, large geraniums are a Soleil specialty.
On the softer side, come discover a special world at Crystal’s. You will find furnishings and furniture that will add a special touch to your home whether it is a small accent piece or a large dresser. Travel to far off places with scented candles and room fragrances. Treat yourself to a touch of luxury with inviting bath & beauty lotions. Men will find Crystal’s to be the perfect place to find a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas present to let someone know how special she is.
Following the Barnes and Johnson family traditions, Crystal’s offers a great showplace for local artists and craftspeople. Rustic furniture from reclaimed wood, carvings, jewelry, glassware, pottery, pillows and paintings are on display. Crystal says there are amazing talents in our area and that she has just touched the surface.
What you see on your first visit to Soleil Garden Center is just the beginning. Charles and Crystal have plans for expanding their offerings to the community. Already, they provide use of the pavilions for social events such as weddings, private parties, and community and business gatherings. A furnished tea garden area is also available for your special use. The easy availability of Soleil plants to decorate you event is a big plus. Periodic workshops for gardening, painting and woodwork will be offered. Seasonal events featuring food, music, and crafts will be held in the spring, summer, and fall. Speaking of music, Soleil offers a fully equipped recording studio to local musicians.   
Charles and Crystal’s vision for expansion is to continue making Soleil an exciting, changing, and interesting place to visit for the entire family.

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