JACKSON TWP. – When he heard about the opportunity to buy Easterday’s former flower and gift shop, Matt Rabbitt didn’t hesitate.
He left a note on the door on a Sunday. Store owner Kathey Marzilli called back and after a few months of discussions, Rabbitt landscaping and installation had a new home.
Continued:Easterday’s flower and gift shop celebrates 50 years.
The building at 5720 Hills & Dales Road NW is an ideal central location for Rabbitt’s business, he said. Rabbitt started the business in 2013 offering residential and commercial landscaping and lawn care services. The business grew and added fence installation and snow and ice removal services.
Marzilli has owned Easterday’s since 1998, but chose to retire and sell the business. Rabbitt acquired the building and surrounding property where he can store equipment and materials.
A buyer is interested in the floral activity, but this sale is not concluded. Easterday’s floral department always offers arrangements of fresh flowers and silk flowers. It is expected that the business will relocate to the commercial area of Whippledale.
Rabbitt’s landscaping and fencing business has clients in Stark, Summit, Portage, Cuyahoga and Medina counties. While it started with mostly residential properties, the business has evolved into an even split between residential and commercial customers, he said.
Rabbitt was in school when he started working for local landscape companies, Rice’s Landscape Redefined and then Enviroscapes. Although Rabbitt was training to work as an air traffic controller, he preferred to be outdoors working on landscape projects. After finishing his studies, he decided to start his own business.
Moving to the old Easterday store from a location in Lake Township is like coming home, Rabbitt said. He grew up in Jackson Township, graduated from Jackson High School and lives in the community with his wife Sarah and their son Luke.
“This opportunity was a blessing in itself,” Rabbitt said of acquiring the location. “I’m happy to be somewhere close to where I grew up.”
Rabbitt said he built his business on customer service. It has six employees who know landscaping and fencing and do quality work. Installing fences sets the company apart from other landscaping companies, he said.
In the new location, Rabbitt said he hopes to expand the business by adding retail services. That could mean Christmas tree sales later this year, as well as other seasonal and landscaping products.
The location has been a retail nursery and gift shop since the 1960s, when J. Melvin Easterday and his wife, Anna “Elizabeth” Easterday opened the business. Several owners have had the business over the years.
Superior welcomed home
Members of Michigan Dairy Producers Association (MMPA) welcomed the recent acquisition of Superior Dairy at the organization’s 106th annual meeting last month.
MMPA leaders said they wanted to support the change and cited the addition of Perry Township-based Superior Dairy last year as a step in that direction.
Continued:Superior Dairy sold, will be a subsidiary of the Michigan Milk Producers group
The agreement making Superior Dairy part of the MMPA was reached on December 31.
“It was the culmination of years of working together and each time we met it was to discuss how we could win by working together,” said Doug Chapin, chairman of the board. of the MMPA.
Joe Diglio, president and CEO of the MMPA, said embracing change starts with aligning with a vision.
“It’s not just one person’s strategy that makes us successful, it’s a team of people who believe in leadership and help achieve the desired outcome,” Diglio said.
The MMPA is a member-owned milk marketing cooperative and dairy processor. It serves dairy farmers in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin, with cheese production in Indiana and milk processing in Ohio.
Following the merger, Greg Soehnlen, president of Superior Dairy, is the MMPA’s director of operations and business development, while Chris Soehnlen is the plant manager for Perry Township. The Soehnlens represent the fourth generation of family members at the head of the dairy.
Diebold Nixdorf teams up with a credit union
One of the nation’s 100 largest credit unions will replace its entire ATM fleet with Diebold Nixdorf’s DN Series equipment.
Langley Federal Credit Union, which has 320,000 members and $4.2 billion in assets, will also contract Diebold Nixdorf to operate and manage its entire self-service banking channel. The credit union is based in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and has 20 branches.