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Meet the People Behind the Plants in this Family Business

Every local business has a story worth sharing with the community.

Our spotlight today is on Antonio and Yolanda Celetti.


Business
: Celetti Nursery & Garden Center
Owners: Antonio & Yolanda Celetti
Websitewww.celettinursery.com
Address: 937 Route 45, New City, N.Y. 10956

How did you come up with the name?
It's our Family namily.  Being an immigrant from Italy, and being raised on a farm, my father always dreamt of opening his own family business, where we could all work together.

Why choose that location? Why start a business in this town?
About 30 years ago, when we first moved to Rockland from Mount Vernon, our father purchased the property with hopes of one day starting his Garden Center.  Located in New City but next door to Pomona, it seemed like a good location and of course lots of space to grow a business.

Briefly, what business are you in?
Garden Center

What's the most difficult moment or challenge you've faced as a business owner?
As a business owner, we face challenges everyday.  I would have to say the most difficult would have to be when we found our well, which waters our plant material was loaded with salt.  We had to purchase a Reverse Osmosis System to filter our water.  Big cost to absorb when you initially start a business that depends on water! Of course, the following year we had an incredible drought which also limited our water supply!

Were there any challenges that made you second guess your decision to be an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, it is important to realize that there will be incredible challenges and risks involved in any business.  Of course when the economy is struggling and we cant rely on the weather, there is always that voice in the back of your head saying its easier to work for someone else but a true entrepreneur cant back down.  When life serves you lemons, make lemonade!

What's been your favorite moment or proudest achievement since opening?
Our favorite moment was of course our Grand Opening!  My father's hard work helped him finally accomplish his dream!  Knowing that every sale goes towards beautifying Rockland and our neighborhoods everyday.

What's the most innovative idea your employees or customers have had that you put into practice?
When we were faced with water issues, not only was the RO system put into place, but also a Rain catching system to preserve and reuse whatever water we get naturally.

How do you deal with difficult customers?
Of course we first listen to their complaint and then try to come up with a reasonable solution so that our customer is satisfiied.  Being a family business, we try to be as fair as possible.

How does your business give back or get involved in the community?
From the point of purchase to selling out the door we try to give back something to everyone.  The main farm we deal with donates 15% of our purchases toward Breast Cancer Research.  Also, we always donate to local schools, churches and/or organizations.  Most importantly, we try to help every customer understand how to plant and care for their material before they leave.

The plan behind this series at Patch is to shine the spotlight on all our favorite local businesses, and to learn a little about the ones we may not know that well.

This is as much about supporting local businesses as it is about celebrating the places and faces that make our community special.

Here's a simple form where local business owners can answer a few quick questions to be part of this ongoing feature. 

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