Perrysburg center under new ownership PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Garden Editor   
Thursday, 31 May 2012 09:44
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Chad Lievens, operating manager at Lievens Market in Perrysburg, where he oversees what was formerly Moser’s Market on Fremont Pike at the eastern edge of the city. (Photos: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG - There's a new and fresh look to the farm market located on U.S. Route 20 at the eastern edge of Perrysburg.
Moser's Farm Market operated at 10411 Fremont Pike for 25 years, until last year's retirement of Debbie Moser and the wliquidation sale which disposed of all the tangible assets of the operation.
Just like the spring flowers, the market returned in April, revitalized and under new ownership and name. Lievens Market is the new name for the facility under the leadership of Chad Lievens, a fourth-generation member of the family operation.
The Lievens family is a wholesale supplier of bedding plants across Ohio and Michigan as well as some facilities in West Virginia. The family farm is based at Ottawa Lake in Petersburg, Mich.
Lievens said he heard through the grapevine about the retirement and it rekindled his dream of opening a retail facility. Though reluctant in previous years, Lievens said his father gave the go-ahead. The Moser family approved the sale after interviewing prospective buyers.
"I had 30 days to pull this all together," Lievens said.
"The response has been great," he said of customer reaction. "The Perrysburg people are wonderful."
He shared how many customers feared the market going the way of the large box stores and other retailers which have recently grown all around the market.
Those who were regulars with the Moser family, should find many familiar items in Lievens operation, as he said he is using 95 percent of the same vendors used by the Mosers.
Lievens said he will continue to feature such items as the tart cherries, blueberries, strawberries and the "Amish pies which have been flying out the door."
Among the new items being featured at the store are specialty wood creations made from reclaimed lumber from area barns.
Lievens said they can custom make various items. The bird houses, arbors and benches have been early favorites.
The operator puts a lot of emphasis on the local area and variety. Last weekend he brought in live camels to provide something different for the customers, especially the children.
"We want to provide unique gifts and something new every time you stop. We want this to be a destination, not just a place to buy flowers," Lievens said. "We want the whole family to have fun."
He also strives to keep things natural. The shelving for the flats and flower containers are created from old apple crates and more of the reclaimed wood.  The bakery case for the pies was also created from windows and wood from an old barn.
The vegetable stand in the market is a wooden sleigh purchased from Moser's.
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The extended flower section at Lievens Market in Perrysburg
Lievens offers a full line of vegetables and herbs for planting as well as a wide variety of floral offerings.
One feature of great pride is the large tomato plants. Planted in December, the tomato plants are huge by any definition. Some reach 7-feet in height.
"Just one plant will supply fresh tomatoes all summer," Lievens said.
He said one of the popular trends is more and more people doing container gardening, as it gives them more flexibility to move things around.
With containers, Lievens says King Tut and Baby Tut are two popular grasses used in pots or other containers.
Lievens already has plans for the fall and beyond.
"Fall was always a great time for Moser's and I want to continue that tradition," Lievens said. "We grow all our own mums and they are big and beautiful."
He is also planning on bringing back the camels with along with other animals for a petting zoo.
"I want to stay open year-round," he said.
In addition to Christmas trees, he is branching out into birding and will offer seed and suet as well as a wide selection of house plants over the winter.
Because of the family wholesale flower operation, Lievens says he is able to offer very competitive prices as there is no middle man and limited shipping costs.
Fresh vegetables will be offered in the market from local producers as much as possible. Ideally locally grown, but items such as fresh corn currently is only available from produce shipped in.
Local artists are featured in many pieces for the garden or home.
Though barely underway in his first season, Lievens is already planning for additions for next year as he hopes to expand their water garden features.
Don't look for a wall of chemical fertilizer, he says he wants to keep it a "specialty store offering plants, gifts and fresh produce."
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 May 2012 12:03
 

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