ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - The Neeld-Gordon Garden Center has been serving the people of Pinellas County for over 100 years, but the shop closed its doors for good on Saturday.
When Boxford Neeld first opened his feed shop in 1913, Pinellas County was filled with fields of orange trees. When he decided to move and upgrade his store in 1925, the business was in full bloom.
But as Richard Golding and his partners took over in 1975, the orange trees began to change to office buildings as nearly half of Pinellas County's agriculture land was lost. The need for seed began to decline, and Golding had to rely on his knowledge of how to fix lawn mowers in order to keep the doors open.
"We used to sell a lot of fertilizer when we first opened, but once those big box stores opened, we started noticing a decline in our sales considerably, so that's why I do lawn mower repairs," Golding said.
The mower repair shop was a success, keeping the Neeld-Gordon Garden Center open for another 44 years -- even after his former partners, George and Peggy Coston, passed on.
For Golding, his relationship with his customers was the best part of the job.
"I'm going to miss all of the customers. They've been friends to me," Golding said. "It's been good."
Golding plans to retire after closing the store, but he plans to find a small shop where he can continue repairing mowers as a part-time job.