History of Grelen
Dan Gregg, Founder of Grelen Nursery, Inc., has loved plants and trees as long as he can remember. In 1990, he left banking to follow his dream and move
to Orange County where he started Grelen Nursery on a corner of his grandparent’s cattle farm. In 1997, as local demand grew, Dan hired Zeke Galvin as a partner to manage the landscaping side of the business.
In 2003, Gregg and Galvin purchased a 200-acre farm located in Somerset, Virginia. This provided much needed space for expansion and during the next five years, Grelen acquired two adjoining properties. Today, Grelen Nursery sits on an absolutely gorgeous 600-acre property and is one of the largest retail tree nurseries in Virginia. They grow hundreds of types of trees, shrubs and plants and offer a full range of landscaping, hardscaping and tree care services. After 27 years, Grelen Nursery is known for having the highest quality products and services.
The idea of a destination garden market and local pick-your-own experience was conceived in 2010 as a result of receiving many compliments about the layout of the Nursery and the spectacular views on the property. As a result, the partners planted berries and fruit trees, renovated a farmhouse and added gardens and a terrace. Once completed, Leslie Gregg, Dan’s wife, came on board to oversee the buying, marketing and operations of the new Market.
The Market at Grelen opened in April, 2013 as a European-Style Garden Shop and over time the concept has continued to evolve. Almost immediately, couples asked to get married at Grelen so a 4500 sq. ft. clear tent was installed and a full time Venue Manager was hired. In addition, the Casual Cafe concept was born in response to clients who were arriving hungry after traveling quite a distance to enjoy the “Grelen Experience.” Then a full time chef joined our team, and a large veggie garden was added to compliment the berries and fruit trees. The menu now includes delicious farm to table fare, as well as a wonderful selection of Virginia beer, cider & wine. Finally, given the incredible natural beauty that defines the property and is being enjoyed by so many visitors, a public 3.9 mile trail system (Grelen Trails) was added last year.
So, whether you want to shop for gardening gifts, add to your plant collection, relax on the patio with a fresh meal, taste a variety of Virginia made beverages, or hike thru a large selection of specimen landscape trees and plants, Grelen is the place to visit. We are all about slowing down and savoring the experience and we hope you will find some time to come out and explore Grelen in 2017!
Philosophy on Agri-Tourism
Dan Gregg, the Founder of Grelen, believes that "This is a wonderful community, full of beauty, history and opportunity. The local economy has changed, and manufacturing type industries are no longer the bedrock, or the future, of our economy. I believe agriculture and tourism will play a much more vital role in Virginia’s economic battle to be sustainable. With Grelen Nursery, I want to combine the two into a potent local economic engine. I want to do my part as a citizen and business owner to bring as much to the community’s economic table as possible. I want to keep my land agricultural and protect its open space. I want to prove that agri-businesses can be sustainable and economically viable, and that agriculture can actually stimulate tourism and, in turn, stimulate the local economy.”
To create a family friendly environment which celebrates open space, agriculture and the farm-to-table philosophy while successfully marketing products and services to visitors resulting in a successful and sustainable business model.