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Red Wagon Plants owner recognized for growing business

Release Date: 
Thursday, April 18, 2019

Julie Rubaud, owner of Red Wagon PlantsHINESBURG, Vt. – A local business is being recognized by the Small Business Administration for its financial success, expansion and community involvement.

Julie Rubaud’s Red Wagon Plants is named the 2019 Vermont Woman-Owned Business of the Year. Red Wagon Plants located on Shelburne Falls Road is a nursery that grows and sells a variety of plants and flowers year-round.

Rubaud grew up in a home with vegetable gardens and a greenhouse, so she said it was only natural that she would pursue gardening as a career.

She started Red Wagon Plants in 2005 as a seasonal business, open from April to June. When it began, it consisted of three small greenhouses and she only sold wholesale to a select clientele. It was in 2007 when she began retailing that the business started taking off. Her annual sales have increased by an average of 14 percent each year.

Today the business has 25 seasonal employees, nine greenhouses and sells year round. Rubaud says she is very fortunate in that many of her employees return to Red Wagon Plants year after year, a trait not commonly associated with seasonal work.

“Red Wagon is known as a place that pays well and has fun, family like work environment. The mission of the business is to help people succeed in the garden as well as to help employees succeed in their work lives,” said Rubaud.

Continued growth is part of her long-term vision. Rubaud was recently selected to participate in the SBA’s 2019 Emerging Leaders Program, a free class for small business owners. During the seven-month program, she will create a three-year strategic growth plan to help reach those goals.

A new addition to Red Wagon Plants is a classroom built inside one of the greenhouses to conduct a variety of workshops, such as Planting for Summer Salads and Preserving the Tomato Harvest. Rubaud has held workshops for several years but she said as more and more people are choosing to grow their own herbs and vegetables there has been an increase demand for workshops and seminars.

Throughout the years, the business has made significant financial and in kind contributions to a number of organizations, including the Shelburne Community School PTO, Burlington Area Community Garden Network and the VT Community Garden Network.

Red Wagon Plants and other small business award winners will be presented their awards during the 2019 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony cohosted by Vermont Business Magazine in June. The ceremony is open to the public and registration will be available in May.

Since 1963, National Small Business Week has recognized the outstanding achievements of America’s small businesses for their contributions to their local communities, and to our nation’s economy.

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