Spot the Shop: Mellie Mac's Garden Shack celebrates 13 years
Mellie Macsherry has been in and out of the garden center industry for nearly three decades. Still, when she was approached 13 years ago about purchasing a garden shop from a previous owner, she was not sure it was the right choice.
Macsherry was working at Ridgecrest Conference Center at the time and said the previous owner asked her for three years if she would buy the store.
“I kept hemming and hawing and hemming and hawing,” Macsherry said. “Then, the third year, she was like, ‘I’m going to sell the shop if you don’t buy it. I’m going to just close it down. I’m done. I’m tired. I’m finished with it.’”
At the time, Macsherry was pregnant with her fourth child. She said she went home, “crunched the numbers” and figured out a way to make it work. She bought the garden center and renamed it Mellie Mac’s Garden Shack.
A decade later, Mellie Mac’s was hosting events and even featured a wine bar. When the events became too big to host at the location on West State Street, Macsherry purchased a lot of land at 204 Black Mountain Ave. in 2019 to host events.
She said she was forced to move her whole operation down to Black Mountain Avenue in 2020 when COVID hit.
“My landlord went up on my rent during COVID,” Macsherry said. “It was when I was shut down. It was 2020 during COVID, and he decided to go up on my rent before the moratorium.”
Faced with the task of moving, Macsherry said she was able to lean on the Black Mountain Beautification Committee and her own long-time patrons to help with the move. In two days over the course of Mother’s Day weekend, Macsherry said her entire shop was moved from one location to the other.
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People like those who helped her move are what she calls, in part, her favorite part of the business. Her other favorite parts are the plants.
“The people and the plants,” Macsherry said. “I’ve watched their kiddos grow. I’ve watched these kids go from being in their mama’s belly to being teenagers, and it’s just fun. I love it and I’ve tried a whole bunch of different things with my business and it always comes back to the plants.”
Macsherry said she sees the move as the biggest success of her business, but pointed to the ever changing weather patterns in the spring as the biggest struggle. She described the recent drop in temperatures and high winds as “the worst week of (her) life.”
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She said her hopes for Mellie Mac’s Garden Shack is that it continues to grow and educate the community about native plants and pollinators.
“I hope that it continues on, whether it’s with me or whoever wants to buy it after me or my kids, that they keep continuing to teach people about how important plants are to sustain the earth,” Macsherry said. “It’s all about sustainability.