Long-time Vance Christmas Tree Farm closing - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Long-time Vance Christmas Tree Farm closing

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Gandy's Christmas Tree Farm in Vance will be closing after 22 years of business. (abc3340.com) Gandy's Christmas Tree Farm in Vance will be closing after 22 years of business. (abc3340.com)
TUSCALOOSA - AL -

  22 years ago, Billy Gandy got a wild idea from a newspaper article...to start a Christmas Tree farm. "We had this vacant land out here. I told my wife, I believe we could make us some money."  And that's just what Gandy did.  "I didn't really know how they would sell."

  Surprisingly, Gandy's tree farm business started growing.  He had no competiton in the area.

   Gandy worked in the coal mines for a living, but remembers taking a six week vacation to get the business started.  "I saved all my sick days...my graduated days..so I didn't take a day off that whole year...I took that six weeks off so I could sell Christmas trees."

   His holiday trees quickly became a rooted household name in West Alabama. "50 Percent of my business is repeat customer and then their friends tell someone."

    Every year since, Gandy's trees go fast.  For example this year, he started off with about 500 Christmas Trees before Thanksgiving.  Right now, he has roughly 40 trees left.

    However, the Gandy tradition is about to be cut-off.  This is the last year he'll sell Christmas Trees. "I've reached the age -- that I can't do it anymore. I've got good help -- but they also have other responsibilities.'  Gandy says that with tears in his eyes because he hates to lose the relationship he's built with customers over the years.  He believe two things made him successful. "My customer...they were number one -- I don't care who he was ..That and quality of tree I had."

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