NORWELL (CBS) – A community constant and one of a kind shop is closing after 70 years of serving customers in Hanover and now Norwell. The family owned Garden Craft Center opened in 1947 and despite enormous changes in the retail world, it’s still a success but the couple who runs the place says it’s time for a change.
It’s Christmas at the Garden Craft Center in Norwell. Wreathes are hung, trees are filled with sparkle and the colors are as bright as the season but the normal Christmas joy is missing a bit for customers because after 70 years in business, the shop is about to close.
“It’s very sad because these unique, local businesses that have been around forever are just wonderful and they bring something to the community that you don’t have elsewhere,” says Anna Chagnon, a longtime customer.
Randy grew up in the business his Dad and Mom opened. “1947, it started with my parents,” says Randy Wright, the shop’s owner. “It started out as a roadside stand with vegetables and flowers and then it developed into selling shrubs and annuals and perennials.”
“I married into the business and it was just easier to join it than fight it,” says Sandy Wright, Randy’s wife. When she and Randy took over the shop, she added silk flowers and taught craft classes. “It supported our family, it paid college tuitions, it’s our life and that’s okay. The time we spent here has been wonderful, we have no regrets,” she says.
In their early 70’s now, the Wright’s say it’s time to leave the seven day a week responsibilities behind and take it easy. “Everything comes to an end at some point. On to the next one. We’ll see what it is,” Randy says.
The Wright’s planned to retire about six years ago, but a thousand customers signed a petition asking them to keep the store going, so that’s what they did but now, they say December 3 is the last day.