New GVI Sod Garden Center Facility Opens On Southern Blvd.

By Callie Sharkey

GVI Sod opened the doors to its new garden center on Monday, Nov. 26. Welcoming both businesses and individual homeowners, GVI Sod is located at 13415 Southern Blvd. in Loxahatchee Groves.

While the garden center is new, GVI Sod has been in business for more than 10 years, said Brad Wilkinson, owner of Glory Ventures Inc. (GVI).

“We needed room to add on to what we do and to offer more to the community,” Wilkinson said. “Now, with the garden center, we can offer full landscaping service, too.”

In addition to sod, the new six-acre facility offers a variety of pots, plants, rock, pavers and mulch. Whether the order is for a large project or a private yard, all customers are welcome, Wilkinson said.

As part of the grand opening, GVI Sod has specials running on sod and mulch, including free delivery locally in the western communities with a minimum one pallet of sod or 50 bags of mulch.

GVI Sod is a family-owned business that runs like a larger business but keeps the atmosphere informal.

“I’m a fourth-generation farmer,” Wilkinson said. “Farming is what I know.”

Wilkinson’s great-grandfather founded Hull Packaging, a Florida farm that grew vegetable crops such as celery, green beans and sweet corn that were transported on ice by rail car.

This farming heritage means more to Wilkinson than just the vintage stickers from the Hull company hanging on his office wall.

“After school, I would always go to the farm,” he recalled. “Dad would pull me out of school to help when needed.”

When his father passed away, Wilkinson took over the family business growing leafy greens at only 18 years old. While Wilkinson’s mentors offered advice, he faced hardships as he learned the ins and outs of running a farm.

“Growing vegetables, it was hard to make a living with all the obstacles, such as freezes,” he said. “But I struggled through it.”

After several rough seasons, Wilkinson made the switch to sod farming in 2007 and found his niche.

“There is no other sod grower around that brings it to your home from the field. It’s like farm to table, but sod to yard. No middle man,” he said.

GVI Sod works on projects both large and small. For instance, the company is working with GL Homes on an 11,000-home development project in Port St. Lucie. To accommodate customers with smaller needs, the garden center provides a way to reach into the community.

“We have 500 acres of turf farms located in South Bay, Pahokee and Belle Glade,” Wilkinson said. “Most of my crew lives in this area, so when the property came available, it just made sense.”

Mike McCarthy runs the garden center facility for GVI Sod.

“We are big on customer service,” he said. “We want to make people feel at home here.”

McCarthy brings 25 years of landscaping experience to the GVI Sod team. He emphasized how important it is that everyone, including staff and customers, have a good experience so they can build relationships and provide better service.

Melissa McCarroll works at the garden center with McCarthy. “We are a team,” she said. “Everybody helps everybody around here.”

Previously based in Jupiter, the GVI Sod corporate office has relocated to the new site in Loxahatchee Groves.

“The garden center was a fun building project,” Wilkinson said. “It took five months just to clear and clean the land before we started anything else.”

Wilkinson invited the local community to visit the new garden center and see all that GVI Sod has to offer.

“From a fire pit to decks to installing trees and sod, we can do it all,” he said.

The GVI Sod garden center location at 13415 Southern Blvd. is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (561) 261-6230 or visit