The new H.D. Reynolds showroom is across the highway from Whitney's Farm Market and Garden Center.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The owners of Whitney's Farm Market purchased a fellow well-known, family-owned business, H.D. Reynolds, in August 2019 and officially opened the power equipment retailer's new location across from the farm stand on March 15.
"A lot of our customers at Whitney's as far as contractors, stuff like that for landscape supplies are also customers of Reynolds," owner Eric Whitney said. "So it's convenient for them."
The Route 8 location features an expanded showroom and shops, employs an additional mechanic, and will be taking on new and different product lines to better serve customers.
Customers can look forward to a snowplow line and arborist supplies among other products.
Both businesses have a long history in the small town of Cheshire. H.D. Reynolds evolved from a general store on Church Street near Town Hall that closed after 80 years of operation in 2018. The power equipment operation remained open and Whitney purchased the business from George Reynolds, whose father started it.
The circa 1844 commercial building that previously housed H.D. Reynolds will likely be rented out and is not owned by Whitney, he clarified.
Whitney's Farm has been serving Berkshire County since 1940 when grandfather Charles Whitney established it as a dairy farm. The dairy operation was maintained by Peter and Eileen Whitney until it was pivoted to a market and garden center in the 1990s by Eric and his wife, Michelle.
Since then, Whitney's has been famed as one of the largest retail farm and garden centers in the county and a seasonal destination spot for families.
H.D. Reynold's new location took about a year to prepare for its March opening. The space was previously utilized by a landscaper and was overhauled to include a showroom and service bays.
Whitney noted that his employees assisted with the management and marketing of the expansion. He hopes to formally introduce his customers to the new retail site with an open house when weather and COVID-19 regulations permit.
He added that 2020 was one of the "busiest seasons Whitney's has ever had" because people wanted to stay at home and work on their yards.
"Last spring, at first it was it was a struggle as far as actually not knowing what's going on, what's going to happen," Whitney explained. "Everyone was at home doing gardening so the demand was so high, doing inventory and products was tough, and setting up in a very short period of time to do curbside pickup and delivery and online ordering in a matter of a week or so."
A lot of this business was done over the phone, he explained, so handling the phone lines at some points seemed overwhelming but the farm stand is now used to the new way of conducting business amidst a pandemic.
"We have everything in place from last year so we should be good," Whitney said. "We have all of the hand sanitizers out, shields on the cash registers, everybody wearing masks. Now we're kind of used to it."
Whitney hopes to host the farm's annual fall festivities in 2021 that were canceled last year. The haunted corn maze, tractor rides, face painting, and other Halloween programming at the farm is a tradition for many kids and adults alike.
H.D. Reynolds is open Monday through Friday 8 to 5 and from weekends from 8 to 3. Whitney's is open from 9 to 6 seven days a week.
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