5 things you didn’t know about MAUR MCKIEBy NIKKI ROWELL,
Before owning Green Oak, he says he didn’t know a pansy from a petunia. He is a big auto racing fan since 1968. He travels for NASCAR races. His two children and daughter-in-law work with him and his wife, Karen. He and Karen met when she “bought” him at a bachelor auction. The couple is involved in national organizations for their industry.
From floral arrangements to landscaping services, Green Oak in Jackson offers so many different products and services.
Maur McKie, a Greenville native, and his wife Karen have owned Green Oak for more than 20 years. However, McKie did not always have plans to run this type of business.
Both of McKie’s parents grew up in Jackson and many of his friends lived here, so McKie made the move to the Jackson metro after he graduated college. “And I didn’t look back,” McKie said. “I’ve made it my home since 1980.”
He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate at Mississippi State. “I’ve always been an entrepreneur of sorts,” McKie said.
But it wasn’t until he met Karen that he got into the horticulture and florist business. McKie was in real estate when they met.
He jokes that at that time he didn’t know a pansy from a petunia. However, Karen is a trained horticulturist.
McKie started as the office manager at Green Oak after helping out on the weekends for a while. In 1998, he and Karen bought Green Oak from her father, Billy.
“If you would have said that I was going to be into this when I was in high school or college, that was the furthest thing from my mind,” McKie said.
The McKies have Green Oak broken down into two segments. They have both a retail segment and a services segment.
The retail part includes the garden center and florist. They have two floral locations, one in Jackson and one in Ridgeland.
“We are a full-service garden center,” he said. “We have fertilizers and soils and planters, pots, trees, shrubs and bedding plants. We’re big into the indoor plant business.”
Green Oak is also a full-service florist.
“We do sympathy, birthdays, events,” McKie said. “We change out flowers in businesses on a weekly basis. We also do weddings.”
On the service side, they have a landscaping company, which allows them to design and install landscaping.
They also have an interiorscape business, which employs a crew to design and replace arrangements at banks, hospitals and malls.
“We also have a holiday decoration part, or Christmascapes,” McKie said. “We decorate homes as well as businesses at Christmastime.”
Not only will a crew design and put the decorations up, but they will also store them when they come down.
Green Oak also employs a crew to maintain customers’ flower pots. They also offer a plant rental service, so that universities or convention centers can rent plants to decorate a stage.
One of the best parts of the business for McKie is the people he meets, whether in the store or around town.