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New Owners, Same Store

Despite the change of ownership that took place at the beginning of the year, Dodds & Eder remains pretty much the same: a store you can count on for your outdoor home furnishing, home decor and gardening needs.

“The transition has been pretty seamless,” says Dorothy Simons, who purchased the retail part of the business along with Carrie Leopold, continuing the store as Dodds & Eder Home. The ladies purchased the store from owner Joe McLaughlin and took over Jan. 1.

“The staff hasn’t changed at all,” says Leopold. “All of the familiar faces are still here. Really, it’s just like it’s always been.”

A ribbon cutting was held Monday night to welcome their new venture. Now that planting season has finally arrived, the new owners say a lot of customers are dropping by, curious about what may or may not have changed in the store.

“It was such a long winter and people are so ready for spring. People are walking through just to feel it, to see the color,” says Simons.

The Enterprise-Pilot had previously reported that the store would no longer sell plants, but Simons and Leopold, who have worked together at the store for the past 18 years, assure us that very little has changed.

“Our main focus is the outdoor furniture, as it has always been,” says Simons, adding that they have made some changes to the business and do plan on expanding the floor for more outdoor furniture. “We have scaled back garden supplies, the smaller hardware pieces, but we still have mulch, bird seed, planters, hanging baskets, hydrangeas, perennials, annuals, all of the things people have counted on us for before.”

While they run the retail part of the business, the store’s three-pronged ownership style remains, with English Country Flowers run by Cindi and George Mudford and the landscaping business run by David McLaughlin.

Simons and Leopold say they will continue to change up their offerings on a seasonal basis and cover all of the holidays and gift products, though they are trying to keep it fresh.

“We’re working hard to find new vendors for new and exciting outdoor accessories,” says Simons.

“We’re always looking for new stuff,” adds Leopold.

One new aspect customers will notice is lower prices on some items.

“We’re even offering price points we didn’t offer before...more of a variety to give more price points for every consumer across the board,” says Simons.

Before taking over, Simons managed the store for a long time and Leopold began working for the company in 1996.

“It’s a job we’re pretty passionate about, and enjoy without question,” says Simons.

They own a second location in Sag Harbor, where they primarily offer outdoor home furnishings, very little home decor and no plants, with a focus on high end art and sculpture. “It’s a very different operation out there,” says Simons, adding that they teamed up with Oyster Bay resident Ken Kelly to offer outdoor kitchens and a design-oriented showroom.

Simons, who is president of Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce and sits on the board of the Oyster Bay Rail Road museum, says it is very much the intention of Dodds & Eder to still be involved in community affairs, community outreach and projects that go on around town.

“We welcome everybody to come in and have the new experience,” says Simons.

Dodds & Eder is at 221 South St., Oyster Bay. For information call 516-922-4412.