Earl May remodel expands selection

FD store now offers more landscaping, furniture options

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Kim Bloomquist, left, manager of Earl May Nursery & Garden Center, and associate manager Chelsea Brueschke look over the house plant section of the store. Earl May recently remodeled the store, allowing more room for its landscaping and furniture section.

A recent remodel has allowed a local gardening and landscaping store to provide more options for its customers.

Earl May Nursery & Garden Center, 168 S. 25th St., remodeled its store over the course of three days in July and added a number of products and improved services for its customers.

“We wanted to better serve the Fort Dodge community with all their landscaping, gardening, outdoor living needs,” Manager Kim Bloomquist said. “So in order to expand on those areas, we had to remove the pet department.”

She said the store was given about a month’s notice that the pet department would be removed, and that it was a corporate decision to stop selling pets.

But while the store lost its pet selection, it was able to add other services.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Earl May Nursery & Garden Center associate manager Chelsea Brueschke, left, and manager Kim Bloomquist pose with a table and chair set available for sale at the store.

“We doubled our indoor house plants,” Bloomquist said. “We doubled the outdoor living, casual furniture departments. And it’s freed up a lot of time to do more landscaping jobs.”

The outdoor furniture selection, in particular, was expanded upon and improved.

“We now have fire pits, steel outdoor patio furniture, along with full sets of our Amish furniture,” Bloomquist said.

She added that Earl May’s customers have had a positive response to the renovation.

The furniture expansion has proven to be very popular, according to Bloomquist.

“By carrying a full line of Amish furniture, I’ve had two couples purchase a full line,” she said.

The recent expansion allows Earl May to continue serving its customers and expands on the services the company already offers.

“We offer a large variety of services, which include landscape design, landscape installation, tree planting,” Bloomquist said. “All the employees are certified in product knowledge.”

She added that the store is also able to offer assistance even if they can’t help the customer directly.

“If we don’t have the answer, we have an awesome home office that will help us find the answers to all your gardening, landscaping needs and wants.”

Bloomquist also said Earl May is always a garden center first, offering help with furniture, soils and gardening supplies.

About Earl May

Earl May Nursery & Garden Center was founded by Earl E. May in 1919 in Shenandoah.

According to information found on the company’s website, May was a “natural born” salesman who “quickly attracted a number of capable individuals to work with him in building a successful mail-order and retail seed and nursery business.”

The company’s founder was born near Hayes Center, Nebraska, and became a skilled salesman who put himself through college by trapping wolves, skinning animals and selling turkeys, the website stated.

After graduating, he worked his way through the University of Michigan by selling garden seed on horseback for the D.M. Ferry Seed Company.

He later moved back to Nebraska to finish his law degree and later moved to Shenandoah to become an apprentice to his father-in-law.

When the company first started in 1919, it sold “baby chickens, tires, batteries, radios, paint, shoes and clothing as well as seed, mostly by mail,” according to the website.

Today, the company operates 30 stores throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas, and the stores are all family owned and operated.


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