Belle Meade garden center opens new decor shop after arson fire

Posted at 1:10 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 20:22:42-04

BELLE MEADE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's the first day of spring, and it marks a new beginning for a local garden center that was burned down by a suspected arsonist.

For a while, the owners at Creekside Garden Center and Landscaping in Belle Meade weren't sure if they would be able to stay open after the loss.

Now they're thriving, and they just opened a new indoor decor shop across the street from their landscaping spot.

An employee said it's a fresh start.

Halle Schell "Everybody's itching to get outside and start planting stuff."

As the flowers grow for spring, the business is growing too according to one of the owners.

Todd Estepp said, "It worked out pretty well. I feel a lot better coming to work now, it's not dreary and cold, and this has been great. The heat works well in here."

Across the street on Harding Place, their landscaping gig is still going strong.

Six months ago, it was firetruck hoses that lined the gravel pathway, now it's water hoses. This comes after the September fire burned the bulk of the garden center to the ground.

Estepp said, "Your heart just sinks man. You know that you can still do business but that was a big chunk of business just gone with the drop of a hat. The arson investigators spent a couple of months determining it was arson."

The owners didn't know if the business would survive, but the community made sure it did. Anne-Marie Clay said it was inspiring to see the community come together.

Clay said, "People would bring food, they would bring tables for us, we would get donations for wood."

Months later, they're still rebuilding some areas.

Estepp said, "Now we got our barn fixed up and that's kind of where we're doing business out of now."

Spring is in the air, and hope is too.

Estepp said, "Ya absolutely, fairy-tale ending."

The flower and decor shop is located at 107 Harding Place.

As for the arson investigation, there's a person of interest but no arrests have been made.