Soleil now open in UC
Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 12:00 am
Springtime brings much-awaited change with longer days, warm sunshine and budding flowers.
This spring also brings an exciting new business to Union City — the Soleil Garden Center at 2317 Nailling Drive.
Soleil Garden Center is owned and operated by Charles and Crystal Meade of Union City.
They have scheduled a grand opening for May 4. Bands, food, youth activities and “plants galore” will be included as part of the opening day celebration.
Soleil offers a full assortment of plants, trees and shrubs as well as gardening tools and supplies.
Soleil Garden Center is also home to Crystal’s boutique, which features an eclectic variety of candles, fragrances, jewelry, furnishings, bath and beauty items, and local artwork.
The opening of Soleil Garden Center represents a serendipitous intersection of dreams and opportunity for the Meades, who each had dreams of opening their own business someday.
His dreams were of plants, especially geraniums. Charles Meade inherited his green thumb from his grandfather, who grew huge geraniums that were the envy of his small town.
Mrs. Meade’s dreams were also influenced by her grandfathers. Her grandfather Bennett “Ras” Johnson made wonderful carvings from reclaimed wood at Reelfoot Lake, while her grandfather John Barnes made rustic furniture. She dreamed of someday owning a boutique that featured similar offerings from local artists with other special items gathered with loving attention from around the world.
Their dreams intersected with an opportunity that came on May 5, 2012.
They were visiting local yard sales when, by chance, they came upon the auction of the Virgin’s Nursery equipment and property. The Meades’ long-term dreams became an immediate reality when they bought the property.
The couple spent the days following their purchase reviewing the state of the property and laying out a long-term vision for their new business.
Mrs. Meade’s brother, Micah Barnes, joined the adventure and the three entrepreneurs started to work. Other members of the Barnes, Johnson and Meade families joined in to make the Soleil Garden Center a true family affair.
The initial focus for the garden center started with the main building, which Mrs. Meade envisioned as the ideal spot for her Crystal’s boutique.
As the grand opening approaches, the greenhouses and pavilions are bustling with plants and Crystal’s boutique is full of charming merchandise and artwork, according to Mrs. Meade. Her husband has been busy stocking the garden center with a variety of plants, shrubs and trees.
The garden center is open 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and Crystal’s is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
The telephone number for Soleil is 885-3005.
The garden center carries a complete line of garden tools and planting soils. Customers can also contract with Soleil for landscape design services.
Following the Barnes and Johnson family traditions, Crystal’s offers a great showplace for local artists and craftspeople. The boutique has on display a variety of rustic furniture from reclaimed wood, carvings, jewelry, glassware, pottery, pillows and paintings.
“What you see on your first visit to Soleil Garden Center is just the beginning,” Mrs. Meade said.
The Meades are already booking weddings, private parties, community events and business gatherings.
“A furnished tea garden area is available for special use,” Mrs. Meade said.
The garden center also will host periodic workshops for gardening, painting and woodworking.
There will also be seasonal events featuring food, music and crafts.
The business also offers a recording studio for local musicians.
“Our vision for expansion is to continue making Soleil an exciting, changing and interesting place to visit for the entire family. Stop by this spring to see episode one of the Soleil story,” Mrs. Meade said.