N.J. Campground Family Expands Business
To understand how Peter and Nancy Peragine came to own the Sea Grove Garden Center requires some explanation, since neither had planned this in 1978 when the couple made what they call one of the best decisions of their lives, the Press of Atalantic City, N.J., reported.
But that had nothing to do with the Sea Grove Garden Center, and everything to do with their decision to buy a campground, the Sea Grove Camping Resort, which is next door.
Peter Peragine worked for nearly 20 years in a construction industry position where he managed 60 people but had little time to see his six children.
“We were camping in a campground in Florida. The kids had gone to bed, and we said, ‘This is a nice way of life,’” said Nancy Peragine, 71.
So they bought the campground, and wanted the children to be occupied at it.
“They each had a job within the campground, and the little farm market was there. … We ran out of jobs in the campground, so we decided sell Easter flowers at the little farm market next door,” she said.
The market grew quickly, she said, particularly as customers enjoyed dealing with the children, who were featured in several newspaper articles in the early 1980s.
And on the suggestion of an acquaintance, they began selling Christmas items at the market, which also proved successful.
This, in a way, led to the Sea Grove Garden Center on Route 9 in the Ocean View section of Dennis Township.
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