Bringing the farm to market at Lievens Market and Outdoor Living
By Chris Galford
It all began with tomatoes. More accurately, with the Lievens family—four generations of farmers from Michigan. They have about 50 greenhouses to their name and a shipping process that sees their products—which include bedding plants, hanging baskets, annuals and perennials—dispersed across three states. Yet Chad Lieven always wanted something more. He wanted to bring retail into the equation, and with Lievens Market and Outdoor Living, he’s finally done just that.
“We sell plants, produce and garden whimsy,” Chad said.
This is Chad’s third season at this Perrysburg locale, a property purchased (with the help and mentorship of a friend) when its previous owners—the Mosers—retired in 2013. It has since grown into a collection of items from the farm. Not only do they sell produce—both produce Chad’s family and other local farmers have grown—but also offer gifts, seasonal garden plants and a mini petting zoo for children. Camel rides included on the weekends.
“We grow our own product, so we can control our own quality. Then we team up with local farmers to bring out homegrown produce. We grow tomatoes and peppers, and we bring in other stuff too—we do a huge strawberry business; people come for miles for our blueberries. Michigan tart cherries are huge too. People buy them by five pound tubs, then they freeze them, use them for pies and such all winter long,” Chad said.
Blueberries are currently in season, with strawberry season starting up as well.
The gifts portion of the shop is contained within a barn on the property. That spacious gift shop includes a fountain room, a hammock room, a loft with its variety of gifts and even a birding department.
In terms of community involvement, however, Lievens Market also offers its share of education through weekly classes. Interested community members could learn about the craft of pottery, among others. Such classes usually occur on Thursdays.
What’s more, Chad manages to turn the notion of going green to other advantages in his shop.
“We use all recycled material from the area. So we take down barns, then use the beams, the lumber, and we sell all that product here too,” Chad said.
In this way, what was built in the community truly stays within the community, and even the oldest of structures might find new life.
Lievens Market and Outdoor Living itself is a seasonal business, opening up in March and closing in January every year.
Show your support for local businesses! Call Chad at 419-874-4897; e-mail at email@example.com; visit the website at http://www.LievensMarket.com; or visit Lievens Market and Outdoor Living at 10411 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg, OH.