Growing plants (and a business)

Honeymoon Acres helps customers fuel gardening passions

Posted on Mar 30, 2020 :: Small Business Spotlight
Kat Boogaard
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Joseph McShaw, who co-owns Honeymoon Acres Greenhouse in New Holstein with his wife, Marci, never doubted he would eventually run his own greenhouse business. “I always knew that I wanted to do this,” he says.

McShaw quite literally grew up in the industry. His parents owned a Pennsylvania business that included a greenhouse, vegetable farm and a honeybee farm where he and his siblings handled a lot of the chores related to keeping those businesses running.

After graduating from high school, McShaw made the move to Wisconsin, where he and his wife started building greenhouses when they were in their early 20s. Like many businesses, they had humble beginnings.

“We purchased a repossessed property, and we just started building greenhouses,” McShaw says. “We’d buy old barns for $50 or $100 and then we’d take the wood back and build a greenhouse out of it.”

Since their property was located on Honeymoon Hill Road, they landed on the name Honeymoon Acres for their budding greenhouse business.

Both of the McShaws maintained full-time jobs when they were building those early greenhouses. After noticing increasing demand, they decided to channel all their energy and attention into supporting and growing their greenhouses into the full-fledged business it is today.

While they loved the property on Honeymoon Hill Road (and still use it to this day as overflow facility for plants), they knew that they would need more space to really let their business blossom. In 2002, they moved to a much larger property in New Holstein, which is where their retail location is now. Since making the move, the space has transformed into a sprawling marketplace of plants, crops and gardening goods.

The business includes a 27,000-square-foot annual greenhouse, a 10,500-square-foot perennial greenhouse and five 1,800-square-foot greenhouses where tomatoes, peppers, cool crops, herbs and vine crops thrive in separate growing conditions. It also features 2,400 square feet of sales space where the business sells pots, jams and jellies, and fertilizers, as well as 20,000 square feet of outdoor space to display lawn ornaments, nursery stock, extra perennials and other plants.

The location includes additional greenhouses the business uses for overflow plants. Its recent expansion to the properties on either side of it provides space for production and storage. Put simply, you can think of Honeymoon Acres as a gardener’s paradise (or “Plant Heaven,” as several of the business’s customers have lovingly coined it).

Honeymoon Acres is a sight to behold now. However, McShaw fondly remembers that he and Marci started the business with only a few dollars and a lot of sweat equity, and he readily admits that he never could’ve dreamed what those early greenhouses would turn into. It’s obvious he has a green thumb — not just for plants, but for business too.

But even more than his business smarts, McShaw has a palpable passion for the work he does. He says serving his customers and watering the seeds of their gardening love is by far one of the most rewarding parts of what he does.

“People get such a sense of satisfaction from going into their gardens,” McShaw says. “It’s a therapy, and a lot of people call it their happy place. People really enjoy what we have, and that definitely makes our job a lot nicer.”