When Raymond Taylor, the late founder of Taylor Nursery, began his business in July of 1977, offering just a few services, it is likely he never dreamt that it would become all that is has bloomed into today. “It was on July 4th, 1977, that he dug the footing for the foundation. He began with landscaping, some greenhouses, and it all grew from that,” recalled Mary Jane Taylor, owner of Taylor’s Nursery and wife of Raymond.
Before diving into the world of small, local businesses, “Raymond did ‘dirt work’ for contractors in Russellville, and would landscape around the homes, consequently, needing to buy shrubbery,” said Taylor.
Previously a schoolteacher, it was not until 1984, after 30 years of teaching, that Mrs. Taylor came into the family business full-time. “Previous to that, I worked part-time helping when I was not teaching. In the meantime, Raymond’s nephew, Bob Taylor, came to help be a part of expanding projects that were going on,” said Taylor.
Now with a total of 18 employees, the size of their team is not the only thing Taylor’s has grown over the years. “In the years that have passed, we have expanded the services we offer. We do lots of side work. You learn to change as the times change,” said Taylor.
“I remember the days when we had a few pots, just a few plants, but now as you look around the office you see wind chimes, beautiful ceramic pottery and benches. We offer house plants, yard plants, automatic sprinkler systems, we can haul topsoil, own dirt pit, and can sell homeowners plants and let them plant them, or we can plant them; However the homeowner wants to do it, we can do it,” explained Taylor.
Furthermore, “We offer lots of live plant deliveries to funeral homes, hospitals, in memory of loved ones or for moments to remember. We can also go out and give free estimates,” added Taylor. “I am amazed at what was com on the market in the last 30 years.”
Where would our community be without all of its locally owned and operated businesses? The minute you step into Taylor’s, the earthy smell is intoxicating, the smiles are contagious and it feels like times of the past, where you walk into a business and you are treated for like an extended member of the family than another customer and potential sale.
When you have been in business as long as Taylor Nursery, there is something to be said for the way you are running your business, whether it is the customer service, business model, the employees, etc. The success the Taylor family has had seems to be a combination of quality and customer service. “We really pride ourselves in having the best merchandise for our customers. After we get it, we take care of it and can then tell you how to take care of it. Our employees can tell you the environment it will grow best; shade or sun, moist or dry , we walk customers through everything down to what will complement their product best,” said Taylor.
“When you buy something here, it is not just about quality. Some of these employees have been working here between 15 and 20 years, they know what they are doing,” said Taylor when asked what separates Taylor’s from larger businesses offering similar plant products.
“Sometimes being a small business can feel like a headache and no reward. However, we helped with the bulb outs in Downtown Russellville, and it was rewarding to see everything bloom, and the beds be so colorful. It is also rewarding to work with new construction, and turn it into a well landscaped yard,” said Taylor.
For more information on products and services offered, you can reach Taylor’s at 479-968-2778, or pop in the store located at 130 South Cumberland Avenue in Russellville.
With Mother’s Day in the coming months, remember Taylor Nursery when picking out your gifts!