For Alex Manuel, business is growing.
In July 2013, Manuel opened his first Indoor Grow Store
on S. Cedar Street in Lansing. Then, a little more than a half year later, he opened his second Lansing area store at 3800 W. Saginaw Highway—one that is three times as large as the first.
"Six months from now, we'll be having this same interview," says Manuel, when asked about his new superstore
that plots 6,000 square feet. "We are going to open up a store in every city in Michigan."
Manuel is driven to make the process of growing plants indoors simpler and less expensive, and says he discounts everything in his store by 40 to 50 percent. His stores carry most everything an indoor gardening enthusiast needs, including lighting, trays, soils, mediums, nutrients, and specialty tools and accessories.
Manuel's most prized retail item is very own magic trimmer—a patented hand-held device that speeds the trimming and harvesting of indoor plants.
"I'm a good farmer," says Manuel, who hails from Greece. "I farmed in my old country and here in Michigan and California. My father and grandfather and his father were farmers. I can give you the best things for your garden."
Manuel says he gave up farming because of age and because he is working on his stores. He invested about $200,000 to remodel the previous Shop-Rite grocery store on the corner of Waverly and Saginaw streets, and runs the shop with a staff of 14, including his son.
Source: Alex Manuel, Owner, The Indoor Grow Store
Writer: Ann Kammerer, Development News Editor