Saxton's Garden Center's 84-year legacy remains intact, even after the closing of its longtime storefront near downtown Plymouth in 2012.
Saxton's Power Equipment LLC, run by former Saxton's Garden Center manager Tom Vanmoorleghem, started running out of the rear of the Saxton's building, 587 W. Ann Arbor Trail, in November, as Plymouth Crossfit, a gym, quickly occupied the business' vacant showroom.
Citing a difficult sales year in 2012 with a dry summer and mild winter, the Saxton family announced plans to close the store, just months after the death of longtime owner William Saxton.
Vanmoorleghem, who worked as an assistant manager at Saxton's Garden Center, brought three Saxton's employees with him to the new business and earned the Saxton family's blessing to keep the name.
With a smaller showroom and more emphasis on power equipment service, Vanmoorleghem said, the new business model should be more sustainable, even if Mother Nature isn't cooperative.
"Sales did not support the size of the (former) sales floor," Vanmoorleghem said. He said with recent renovations, the service area is about three times larger than the former garage space.
While the new business will carry fewer brands than its previous incarnation, Vanmoorleghem said he will focus on carrying brands not stocked in big-box stores.
Vanmoorleghem said he hopes to keep as much the same as possible for customers. The business even retains the same phone number and address as the former storefront.
"The people are still the same and the service is still the same," Vanmoorleghem said.
The entrance for the new Saxton's storefront is on the west side of the building facing the parking lot.