Published at 3:05:52 PM, 12/30/2021
Modified 12/30/2021 at 3:05 PM
SHELBURNE — After nearly 30 years, Shelburne Farm and Garden is on the market as its owner contends with staff shortages and long working hours.
Patricia Schmidt, who purchased the store in Buckland’s original location in 1991 and then moved it to Route 2 two-years later, stated that the store officially went on sale Dec. 23. She hopes to sell it before next year’s flower season.
Schmidt said the combination of grueling work for her age — lifting heavy bags of seeds and fertilizer every day — and the lack of help contributed to her finally putting the store up for sale.
“In September, I finally realized I’m 66 years old and employees are coming and leaving,”Schmidt spoke by phone. “I don’t have a big enough crew for me to take a day off.”
She stated that she works six-day, seven-day weeks which is more than she wants.
“If I was 10 years younger, I would ride it out,”Schmidt spoke about the lack of employees on the current market.
Schmidt added this has been an ongoing problem since the pandemic began and it’s just become too much for only her to deal with.
“It was just chaos,”She spoke of adapting on the fly to ensure that she and her customers are safe while running the store during the pandemic. “It was hell, absolute hell.”
As potential buyers begin contacting Schmidt and she prepares to leave the store behind, she said she feels like she is letting customers down by leaving because she’s “built this up,”But she would prefer to be done on her own terms.
“I definitely feel like I’m betraying the customers. … It’s hard to just stop,”Schmidt said. “But my body could fall apart and I could close down without doing it slowly.”
Schmidt owns the store locally, but it is also an Agway franchise. This is a cooperative farmer-owned cooperative that provides different products to each store in the Northeast. Schmidt stated that the store would be best left in its current state. “dream,”But it will be difficult.
“I don’t know that will happen,” Schmidt said about the store operating the same way when it’s sold. “It is a demanding business the way I run it.”
Schmidt has been working with Agway since 1977. In the 1990s, she purchased the store. She said the store’s mix of products has “radically changed”She bought it and she has been using it ever since. “nursery section has grown exponentially”These are the most recent years.
Schmidt will accept offers and remain in the shop to maintain her winter stock.
“I intend to stay open,”She said. “I’m not walking away. I’m hoping to wind down by April or May.”
Schmidt stated that after the store is closed, she will be able to spend more time with her granddaughter and continue her hobbies like oil painting or cycling.
“I need to recoup a little bit,”She said. “This isn’t happening overnight.”
Chris Larabee can be reached at [email protected] or 413-930-4081.