Summer tomatoesAt Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, our two most popular “brands” of produce are Chase corn and Buchanan tomatoes. Chase Farms in nearby Oglethorpe, Georgia, grows the most delectable corn available, and customers flock to the market during fresh corn season.

Buchanan tomatoes are grown by Jim Buchanan of Sumter County’s Buchanan Farms. During the summer, in particular, Buchanan tomatoes can be spotted on many a table or tucked in a sandwich with a healthy dollop of Duke’s mayo. (If you don’t know what we’re talking about, then you’re not from around here!)

Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry appreciates both partnerships. “We are happy that we can offer products from many local farm providers,” he says. “Customers have made Chase corn and Buchanan tomatoes some of the top selling brands at Happy Patch. Mrs. Chase selected our market as the only market outlet for their corn. We are happy to be partnered with these two local farm providers.”

In the photo above, customers are welcomed with tables of red, ripe Buchanan tomatoes as they pass through the south entry of Rudy’s Happy Patch Market.

BrainstormingAt Perry Wellness Center, it is always exciting to hear about future plans for the campus and market, along with current trends. Recently, two authorities in their respective fields came together to collaborate on a new strategy for Rudy’s Happy Patch Market.

Plant authority Jamie Minich and creative designer Jeff Williams can provide solutions for almost any problems on the PWC campus. Last week they happened to meet in the east gardens, where they discussed plant identification signage and plant placement at the market.

Jeff explains, “We have found that the parking lot side of Happy Patch is a ‘point of purchase’ area for shoppers. If we have some plant varieties that move more slowly, we move them to this parking lot, and they are quickly gone. I like to share ideas with Jamie. She offers things relative to plant variety that I did not know.”

In the photo above, Jamie Minich and Jeff Williams discuss plans for future plant relocation to increase visibility and sales.

Backyard Snowball PlantAt Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, staff love hearing back from customers who have made previous purchases. It is always enjoyable to share plant growing stories! 

Recently, a customer from Marion County shared an update on a snowball plant she had purchased at the Mobile Market in downtown Buena Vista a few years ago. After she spoke to fellow Marion County resident and Perry Wellness Center staff member Mulkey McMichael about her plant, he traveled to her home in north Marion County to see for himself and take a photo.

“I also like plants,” Mulkey explains, “And when a plant performs well, we are eager to boast of the plant’s success in our garden.”

The snowball plant, pictured above, more than lived up to expectations. It was planted in the perfect spot, and almost sparkled in its white splendor in the sunlight.

P.S. Snowball plants remain in stock at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market.

Faucet Drip 2At Perry Wellness Center and Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, staff and peers are aware of the need for water conservation. Using water responsibly is good for both the environment and the financial bottom line.

The PWC campus requires regular watering to maintain health plantings and market plants. Even the possible drip of a water connection to supply faucets is monitored frequently. This very problem was recently discovered in a market greenhouse by a peer, who reported it to a staff member. The solution to the small leak became a “teachable moment” for peers, with the assistance of staff member Kelly Jansen.

“We filled a pot with some young plant cuttings and placed it under the dripping faucet,” Kelly explains. “We have enjoyed watching them grow and become larger plants.”

Turning a liability into an asset is one way to tackle daily life problems. The thriving coleus and spider plant cuttings pictured above are living proof.

Parking Lot Plants2Earlier this week, we described efforts to rotate displays of inventory at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market in order to capture customers’ attention. Every available inch of space is used -- even the parking lot. In the market’s north customer parking lot, colorful displays are grouped for customer enjoyment as they enter the market area. But staff have the challenge of not only displaying market offerings, but maintaining adequate parking space for visitors.


Stuart Perry, Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO, says, “We have found that, if we make colorful groupings of our plant and shrub inventory, our customers get ideas and purchase more of these plants.” He also notes, “We are aware of parking during the most demanding market days.”


The photo above shows the large area of plants enjoying the morning sun before the parking lot fills at Happy Patch.


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