BROADWAY, Va. (AP) — The town of Broadway has a population of close to 4,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
But one small-town business has nearly 15 times that amount of followers online.
Located off South Main Street, Chad Comer and Josh Shifflett opened Blue Ribbon Nursery and Landscaping in 2006 after years of experience in landscaping and yard work. Since breaking ground, the business owners have built quite the following on social media — more than 58,000 likes on Facebook to be exact.
“We saw a need for (the business) here in the county,” Shifflett said.
The pair transformed an abandoned feed mill into a home for a variety of plants, flowers, trees, shrubs and decorative items such as custom wreaths, flags and gardening equipment.
While Shifflett is not from Broadway, he was convinced by Comer, who is a native of the town.
“Broadway is a great community and, at the time, they didn’t have a landscaping business here,” Comer said.
Every item at the nursery has been personally selected by Comer and Shifflett to provide the best service possible.
“We take much pride and time picking out merchandise, so it is not the same as any other place,” Comer said. “We have a personal touch, and we do a better job.”
Twelve months out of the year, the nursery’s exterior is lined with vibrant annuals, perennials and seasonal flowers and plants, along with the occasional produce stand during the warmer seasons.
If lucky enough, customers can run into various animals on the property as there are a number of cats and two golden retrievers that add an extra treat to a shopper's trip.
And while it may be easy to get sidetracked by the amount of items available outside, it is a whole different world indoors.
“A lot of people think we just sell outdoor stuff,” Comer said. “But you need to come inside and look because I don’t think people know what we have to offer.”
Up a set of stairs is a door that leads to the indoor plants that can be found year-round. From peace lilies to poinsettias during winter, plant enthusiasts can decorate their outdoor garden and indoor space.
Through another set of doors is a room filled with seasonal merchandise, custom-made wreaths to showcase any day of the year and Christmas decorations.
With such a large following on social media, Comer and Shifflett host giveaways where anyone can participate.
“We try to appeal to everyone,” Comer said. “And we really are supportive of the community.”