Sale of Harmony business pending – Public hearing March 6 to consider a conditional use permit for a retail variety store on the property 

By Charlie Warner

The Harmony Garden and Floral gift shop is located on Highway 52 on the north edge of Harmony, Minn. (Driftless Multimedia photos by Charlie Warner)

“This has been an incredibly difficult and painful decision. We’ve been so fortunate to have had the support of so many great customers and we look forward to continuing to serve them into this summer.”

That’s the way Andrew Kingsley of Harmony Gardens and Floral replied last week when asked about the possible sale of the sprawling greenhouse located along Highway 52 on the north end of Harmony, Minn. News had spread through this Fillmore County community that the local greenhouse was sold to a business/real estate developer, and that a Dollar General retail store would be located at 625 Main Ave. North.

“Originally, we put the business up for sale a couple of years ago after we switched to homeschooling our children and saw the need to make some lifestyle changes that would restore some sanity to our family life,” Kingsley said. “We listed it on the open market for a full 12 months but received no offers or serious interest. Since then, I’ve always been transparent that we’d be willing to sell.

“When we received an offer from this developer last year, we offered the business to multiple individuals familiar with the business for significantly less money than we felt our business was worth,” Kingsley said. He went on to say that he and his wife Lisa and their family would have preferred to see the current business continue to operate as a greenhouse/floral and gift shop. But no one was interested.

“This was essentially the last thing we wanted to have happen. But we definitely can’t afford to own it and not operate it,” Kingsley said. “My parents (Kerry and Jane Kingsley) approached us about possibly helping them reduce their workload at their store, as they are getting older.”

Kerry and Jane Kingsley own and operate Kingsley Mercantile, which is one of busiest hardware and appliance stores in the area. 

“That’s why when this developer made us an offer, it felt like maybe God was clearing a path forward for us and them,” Andrew said. 

The offer was quite low for the business and property that the Kingsleys had developed over the past eight years, “but was a fair offer for just the real estate,” said Andrew.

“We decided after much deliberation that the choice was clear, all things considered. Mom and Dad have an awesome team at the Mercantile and I’m excited to join them.”

He added that the business transaction hasn’t been finalized yet. But, it does appear to be moving forward. A public hearing has been scheduled to be held on March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Harmony Community Center where the Harmony Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a conditional use permit for a retail variety store to be located on the Harmony Gardens and Floral property. 

Even if everything falls into place, Andrew said the local business will continue to operate at least through the summer months and possibly into the fall. 

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N. Hensley
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2 months ago

I understand why the choice was made, but sure hate to see them go. We’ve been going up there for several years even after moving to Spillville, IA, so many wonderful plants. Wishing you the best.