Back in 1973, Art and Ardith Pingel bought a farmstead and moved with their 2 children, Sue and Charlie, just outside of Sabin, Minnesota. Art built a tiny wood framed greenhouse in 1973. The next year, they started selling some annuals as Double A Growers. The first permanent greenhouse was added in 1977 and is still standing just off the back of the barn. In 1980, they began selling annuals at a satellite location in Moorhead and added 3 locations over the next several years. More greenhouses were added to the Sabin location until the current 12 greenhouses equaling over 30,000 square feet of greenhouse space. As the business grew, a name change was needed to incorporate the business in 1990. Levi Runions, Inc. was named after Art’s great-grandfather who was an avid gardener and professional photographer (pictured right). Also in 1990, we opened Runions Floral in the Northport Shopping Center which was closed in 1998 along with the other satellite locations to allow us to focus on the Sabin location.
Now retired from 40 years of driving truck while developing the family business, Art worked on improvements and additions to the greenhouses in 1993. Charlie began to manage the garden center in 1994 and together father and son created an exciting retail environment while improving the quality of the plants. A change from hand seeding to using a seed plugs increased the efficiency of transplanting and created stronger plants. The increased popularity of specialty plants grown from cuttings prompted the development of a special greenhouse for displaying these varieties now a staple in gardens and containers. The old potato shed, which has been used for 30 years for propagation, has become a mini manufacturing plant for cuttings and plug flats with high density lights and drip irrigation. Ardith retired from the business in 1999 and passed away in 2009. Charlie’s wife, Shelly, handles customer checkout as well as marketing and bookkeeping. Art concentrates a little more on woodwork in the off-season and creates beautiful hand turned bowls on the lathe.