“God smiled on us and we were able to grow,” reflects Stuart Leventhal, owner of Down to Earth Living in Pomona, a home and garden center serving Rockland and Bergen counties, and beyond, since 1970.
Like the seedlings Leventhal sells, Down to Earth began small, as a landscape design center. Little by little, Leventhal added plants, flowers, and trees (he sells 35 different kinds of Japanese maple, some dating back to 1986). When outdoor furniture and home décor became popular, Down to Earth began selling those as well.
Leventhal takes pride in his ability to retrieve unique products — from local flowers to hundred-year-old imported bonsai. What you see is not ordered from a catalog; Leventhal himself travels to bring these products to the store for his enthusiastic customers.
The newest addition is outdoor furniture designed specifically for Down to Earth Living. Customers learn not to shop by cost alone — although Down to Earth does offer its merchandise at the lowest price possible, the quality outshines big-box selections.
A roughly 10,000 sq ft showroom is portioned into fully decorated outdoor rooms, with tables set for dining — complete with plates, cups, flatware, and other accessories — so customers can better envision it. The furniture appears made for someone’s living room, yet it’s covered with high-quality weather-resistant fabrics. And “the most important quality is comfort,” emphasizes Leventhal.
With a firm foundation in landscaping art, Leventhal orchestrated a vast plant selection: “You have to love plants if you want to do this; it’s one tough business.” Nevertheless, Down to Earth testifies that sowing hard work does reap astounding products. Within the vast colorful sanctuary, customers can select from plants, garden sculptures, trees, and even koi fish.
Down to Earth’s offseason is just as vibrant as the growing season. On Oct. 1, the staff begins converting the showroom into a Christmas winter wonderland that opens two weeks before Thanksgiving. Crowds visit and flow through the rooms until January, soaking up the beauty as well as picking up a merry decoration or two. Again, careful staging allows customers to envision decorating their own homes.
Leventhal is quick to credit his talented team of staff and designers, as they continue their 49-plus years of commitment to high-quality, unique products.