Pender Pines Garden Center Story
Founded by Gary and Sharon Schwarz in 1996, Pender Pines Garden Center is the fulfillment of a dream that began in New York a decade prior. Pender Pines opened with one building and a two-hoop greenhouse. Gary, Sharon, and their three children; Jon, Jessica, and Jason were the first employees. Gary’s parents, Lily and Al, were the unofficial greeters for customers in the early days as they assisted with tasks, large and small. Now 91, Al continues to assist with errands and events routinely.
Pender Pines brought to light the dream of a lifetime to supply the greater Hampstead area with a full-service garden center; a one stop shop for all your gardening needs. Quickly growing to the point of having to employ more than just Gary’s wife and three children, Pender Pines now has a staff 25 employees. In 2002, Jon Schwarz graduated from the NC State Horticulture program and developed the Landscape Department of Pender Pines along with a ½ acre Arboretum. With the explosion of growth to the area, Gary’s vision quickly grew into 7200 sq.ft. of retail green house, 17500 sq.ft. of heated growing houses and over 8 acres of retail and production. In 2005, emus arrived on the property, with the idea of incorporating rescued animals expanding to goats, tropical birds, alpaca, donkey, sheep, and chickens.
2018 has been a year of transition as Jon and his wife, Jennifer, took over the business with the idea of growing upon the legacy his father had created. With that bringing the highest quality of plant material, superior products, and customer service to the community that has helped to build Southeastern North Carolina’s premier garden center.
As we look to the future, Pender Pines will no doubt continue with the future generation of Schwarz’s.