Andrew Jones’ Evergreen Patio business has come a long way over the past decade. Founded in 2008 in a small woodworking shop at his home, Jones is one of Cave Spring’s newest businesses in a four-building campus on Mill Street, formerly the Cave Spring Hardware property.
Jones got his start 11 years ago at the family farm near Monroe as a means of generating a little money while he was working his way through college. He attended Brigham Young University-Idaho where he received a degree in marketing
“I couldn’t find a job because the recession had just hit,” Jones said. His first full-time job was with information technology, working during the day, then coming home and spending another four or five hours in the wood shop.
Jones got his start building Adirondack chairs for his mother.
A few years later, the business had grown to the point where he moved from the wood shop on the farm to an old cotton warehouse in Monroe.
“That was a pretty big leap,” Jones said.
His move to Cave Spring came as something of a perfect storm of different events. His father was ready to sell the family farm to move to Florida to help take care of his parents.
About that time, Jones and his wife Jessica came to Cave Spring to visit in-laws. His brother-in-law’s wife was an emergency room doctor at Redmond Regional Medical Center.
“The first time we came to Cave Spring we thought this was a really special town,” Jones said. “We had no intention of moving.”
They drove by the old hardware store at 14 Mill St. that is now their primary base of operations, including their first ever showroom and manufacturing space. They thought it might be a cool building, found out who owned it and wound up purchasing the building.
Cave Spring is actually a pretty good distance from his primary customer base, the metro Atlanta area, but he decided it was worth it to move to a community where his family could be comfortable.
“We’re getting into this really unique vibe here with Lake Weiss, some of our Alabama customers and Rome customers, so we’re building relationships with the local customers,” Jones said.
Sandra Lindsey, director of the Cave Spring Downtown Development Authority, said that in a very short time, Jones has become an important part of the community and figures that his customer base will ultimately draw even more out-of-town people to Cave Spring.
In the past, most of the business has been related to online sales.
“This is new for us, having an actual storefront with things, so we’re learning to cater to the local community, have a cool, unique presence and have people come in and buy as well as maintaining our online presence,” Jones said.
Last year, the business topped $1 million in sales for the first time. Not bad for a guy who started building chairs for his mom.
Thousands of Adirondack chairs later, Jones is crafting fire pits and other outdoor living items, from steel fire pits to poly lumber outdoor accessories. He was an Eagle Scout and was pretty good working with wood. He had bought a fire pit from one of the big box stores and said it had rusted to very poor condition in less than a year.
“I know I can do something better,” Jones said he thought to himself. “I had delivered furniture to people’s fire pits and the fire pits were just awful.”
He taught himself how to weld and now has several different-sized fire pits available. One of the new buildings he has added to the old hardware facility is specifically a welding shop.
“I really like designing, coming up with new ideas for things I would actually use myself. It’s the same way with the furniture (and accessories). I really felt I could make something better than I could find anywhere else.”
Jones and his wife have grown a hobby into a business. His wife serves as the design expert, putting together the show room that they’ve never had before. Jones still does a lot of the hands-on manufacturing work. He is assisted in that by his longtime shop manager Phillip Boss, who has made the move from Winder to stay with the business and is in the process of closing on a home of his own on the north side of Cedartown.
The campus on Mill Street also includes a barn-like building where he is partnering with area artisans to display their items. He said it was his way of giving back to craftsmen and women who were a lot like himself, building niche items that meet certain needs but not big enough to have their own stores.
“I’ve got a soft spot for those people,” Jones said. He has also partnered with Amish craftsmen. “We’ve taken years to develop relationships with them. We can get something from them that I can sell at the same price they would, because we have such a great relationship. We trade products back and forth,” Jones said.
The fourth building on Mill Street was built for his dad. Jones said he suspects his parents will also move to Cave Spring once they have settled his grandparents. The first time his father visited Rolater Park, Jones said his father commented that he could see himself living in Cave Spring.
Jones is looking forward to a formal ribbon-cutting for Evergreen Patio on Sept. 19 at 10 a.m. He’s also looking forward to becoming more involved with the community once his family gets settled.
“I’m going to be here until I retire,” Jones said. He’s in his early 30s so retirement is not something on the immediate horizon.