For more than ten years, a large vacate lot along Route 52 leading into the Town of Kent has been an eyesore for drivers
But now what used to be an empty, depressed site is filled with Christmas tress and holiday spirit and come the springtime, it’ll be a full-time nursery thanks to the efforts of brothers Fred and Joe Kussin. Following the death of their father, Fred III, the two have taken it upon themselves to continue running the original location of Kent Countryside Nursery on Ludington Ct. in Kent and even expand to its second location along Route 52, which is badly in need of business growth.
“This is just a location to get a little more traffic and little more visibility,” Fred said. “This location is just better for Christmas.”
Over the fall, the Route 52 spot sold pumpkins for the first time and after a short break, started offering Christmas trees for the second consecutive year. Once all their trees are sold, the nursery, like most businesses of this type, will close for the winter before it opens in the spring as a bustling nursery, the exact month depending on the weather.
Fred, 28, and Joe, 24, have been working side-by-side to make the new, advantageous location a success. The business is 20-years-old, opening back in 1994 when their late father was running it.
Fred said customers and community members have been welcoming to the their mission, considering the lot used to be a leaky gas station and had been empty for at least a dozen years.
Both have been working for Countryside Nursery for years as kids growing up so both are familiar with the business and when asked if they are doing this to continue their father’s legacy, both answered “absolutely.”
While Fred always saw himself as someone who would be actively involved in the family business, Joe didn’t think that would be the career path he’d take. After graduating from college in May 2013, Joe took a job in New Hampshire, but after six months came home and started working for the business again.
“It was kind of one of those things where you don’t know what you have until it’s gone,” Joe said. “When I wasn’t working here is when I realized I actually enjoyed it and then that’s what made me decide to come back.”
Now the two are a team and both know their father would be proud.
“Now he has his two boys running the show,” Fred said. “We’re keeping the place open for him and at the same time we’re actually expanding.”
Kent Countryside Nursery is located at 61 Ludington Court in Carmel and its phone number is 845-225-7766 and its other location is 525 Route 52 in Carmel. The second location on Route 52 is open until 8 p.m. seven days a week.