United we stand. Divided we fall.
That’s the Agway of Cape Cod store's motto, at least in Orleans.
Due to a historical quirk, the retailer's customers buying dog food or fertilizers had to go to Agway at 20 Lots Hollow Road, but buying a rhododendron or rugosa rose required a visit to 10 Lots Hollow Road. The two properties were linked, but only through a leased piece of land owned first by Verizon and then Wilkinson Ecological Design.
Agway of Cape Cod now owns the land that has enabled it to remodel both stores. The retail store actually bought the land several years ago and spent the interim planning and permitting before launching work in the summer.
"It’s near and dear to our hearts,” said Josh Wile who co-owns Agway with his sister Jessica Thomas.
“My father (Peter) built the store in 1992. He didn’t think it would ever be as big as it is. I was in the eighth grade at the time. He thought Orleans could use an Agway store and relocated from central Massachusetts.”
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Agway has a good spot for customer traffic, on the way to the town transfer station
They had a good spot — on the road to the town transfer station. The family now owns two additional stores, in Dennis and Chatham. Agway operates as a buyer’s cooperative that distributes wholesale products. It operates more than 1,000 stores that comprise a locally owned dealer’s network.
The main store in Orleans stocked agricultural supplies and an ever increasing pet supply section. When Agway added a nursery plants business, it bought 10 Lots Hollow Road, but 14 Lots Hollow Road was between the two stores. That was an office that housed an insurance business and is now slated to be the retail cannabis shop Seaside Cannabis.
The leased property went behind the main store and 14 Lots Hollow Road. It has been used as the pickup location for bags of compost, planting mixes, mulches and other similar products.
“Things were always at two different stores. It was not cohesive,” Wile said. "Every time a customer walked into the main store they’d want to know where the plants were. And when they walked into the garden center they’d want to know where the dog food was. That’s the story of my life.”
Finally, a chance to have one-stop shopping, says Josh Wile
As Wile noted, it was two-stop shopping instead of one stop for the business.
When Agway finally bought the linking land the company wanted to bring the stores together.
The old garden center at 10 Lots Hollow Road is expected to become the pickup location for mulch, soil, cow manure and so forth. The nursery plants would be moved behind 20 Lots hollow Road where the old pickup location was. Meanwhile, Wile and Thomas are building a new greenhouse addition on the back of the warehouse at the main store, on the formerly leased land, that will keep house plants and other items.
Customers can enter the main store parking lot and then drive on new pavement through the back to 10 Lots Hollow Road to pick up an order and then exit through that parking lot. The parking lot at the main store will add 30 parking spaces, Wile said.
“The reasoning behind it,” Wile explained, “was that we get deliveries all the time, big trucks coming in. That was such a nuisance for customer traffic in that small lot. It was a 20-year anxiety for me. Now the trucks can unload at the other place so they are totally out of the way. They don’t have to back up. “
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Over the summer, Agway operated in a hybrid fashion with the plant operation moved to the main store parking lot so work could be done. Wile said he hopes to have the new greenhouse ready for Christmas.
A grand opening is planned in the spring.
Contact Rich Eldred at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @reldredCodder.
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This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Agway of Cape Cod unveils new property layout in Orleans