Photo provided by Annie Sherman/Chaves' Gardens

Annie Sherman, on behalf of Chaves’ Gardens, shared the following news with What’s Up Newp today regarding the future for Chaves’ Gardens.

Local Florist And Garden Store Sells Property And Retains Right To Operate 42-Year Family Business Onsite

The florist, nursery and garden supply store Chaves’ Gardens took the next step in its 42-year venture today. On October 1, 2019, Barbara Chaves, the primary operator of her family business, with her brothers Joe and Ron, sold the roughly three-acre property, located at 935 East Main Road, Middletown. Chaves’ Gardens will continue to lease the property and will remain open for business as usual.

“My concern is that our customers think we’re closing. That’s not the case. We’re going to do business as we always have, and carry on like nothing has happened,” she said. “This is the best possible outcome. Being a small business, we have no pension. Therefore this sale will fund our retirement.”

For more than four decades, the garden store has been and will continue to be a destination for everything needed for any green thumb. At the age of 24, Barbara and two of her four brothers, Joe and Ron, rented office space above Ben’s Furniture in Newport to write the business plan and prepare their goals. They also stood at the corner of East Main and Turner roads to observe car traffic, ensuring this was the right spot for their business.

On the first day open, Barbara, a University of Rhode Island graduate and South Kingstown resident, sold geraniums with a tin cash box in a tiny glass greenhouse. Most of their family was involved at some point, from their parents to aunts, uncles and cousins. “It really was a family-supported business,” Barbara said. “We’ve been blessed.”

It is now a full-scale nursery selling flowers, trees and shrubs, and seasonal items, like fall chrysanthemums and Christmas trees, plus home and garden décor, wedding arrangements and much more. “In a big box era, it’s great to see couples come here to select the plants they want to have at their home,” Barbara said.

John and Paul Nunes of Newport Vineyards have purchased the Chaves’ Gardens property. Coincidentally, for several years in the 1970s, the Chaveses rented the Middletown property from the previous generation of Nuneses, who operated a Chrysler dealership on the site where Newport Vineyards sits now. The Chaveses later bought the property, and vowed to offer it back to the Nunes family when they planned to sell or retire.

John Nunes said they have no long term or short term plans for the property once they take ownership. “They have been great neighbors for many years, and we are simply facilitating their retirement,” he said. “We have our hands full here, so we have no intention of knocking everything down that the Chaves family has built. Business is strong there and it will continue to be.”


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