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South Salem Garden Center Changes Ownership

SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. – Those driving along Smith Ridge Drive looking to pick up a few plants or gardening supplies at Tom’s Home and Garden may be confused when the don’t see the sign. The gardening center is under new management and it has a new name – Copia Home and Garden.

Peter Cipriano Jr., 35, and his wife, Jennifer, took over the business in April but didn’t have their official opening until last month. Between the two of them, they bring a wealth of gardening experience and expertise to the business.

“My wife and I ran our family garden center in East Meadow, Long Island for 13 years,” Cipriano said. “She’s from Connecticut and worked in garden centers there as well. But we wanted to get off the island and this place is beautiful.”

Cipriano said he found out the place was available from a vendor colleague who encouraged him to check it out.

“He told me there’s a nice little place that only wants to do seasonal business,” he said, noting he.  will keep it open year-round.

“This place has struggled in the past, but I think the key to turning it around is our plant knowledge and landscaping expertise,” he added, noting that he and his wife are graduates of Cornell University’s horticulture school. “We also have a willingness to roll up our sleeves.”

Cipriano said that Copia features excellent quality perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs. And while the business offers landscaping services to its customers, the staff is also there to educate weekend gardeners who want to do it on their own.

“We show them the proper way to install the plants to ensure their success,” he said. “Because that way, if they are successful, they will buy more and that is the key. But if they want us to do it, we are trained for residential landscaping. If it’s a simple project, we can do it on our own. For larger ones, we will work with designers and landscape architects.”

Copia also sells local seasonal produce from area farms, such as Mill Stone Farm in Wilton, Conn. “Right now we have corn and tomatoes and some other vegetables out there on the stand,” he said, motioning to the stand outside the front door.

Then Cipriano looked around his store and smiled.

“We have everything you’d want for your gardening needs,” he said.

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