Orange County Economic Development

Name of Business:  Camellia Forest Nursery

Description: Mail order and retail nursery specializing in Camellias and also offering more unusual trees and shrubs.

Where can you products be found:  We sell online at: and we also sell from the nursery at 620 NC Hwy 54 West in Chapel Hill.

What year was your business founded/established?  1979

 What made you decide to open your business?   The nursery was founded in 1979 by my mother who needed a way to put my brother and I through college.  I returned to work in the nursery when I found it difficult to find a job and I worked in a garden center as a temp position. I enjoyed the work and decided nursery work was better than the lab work I had trained for in college.

 What makes your business unique?  Camellia Forest is unique because we grow so many different kinds of Camellias and other trees and shrubs that you can not find anywhere else.

What do you wish your local neighbors (potential customers) knew about your business?  I wish people knew about the vast diversity of plants that are available and that they plant these instead of the same old plants that we see everywhere.

What are your next goals for your business (any exciting expansion plans or new product/services)?  Our next goals are to expand the tea part of the business. The tea we drink comes from a type of Camellia and it is one of our best sellers. It is a sustainable crop in our area and we would like to expand on this both for homeowners and for small farmers.We produce a small amount of tea for sale but would like to increase the production. This involves planting more plants as well as building a processing facility. We also want to encourage local growers to grow tea and have a local group producing tea.

If someone were to give you $100,000 to invest in your business, how would you spend it?  If we had $100,000 we would build a tea house. This would be a place to serve our own teas in a beautiful and peaceful setting.  It would be an on farm place for people to just relax but also to learn about tea. We would finally have somewhere to have workshops on how to make tea, tea tasting and other tea related activities.

What do you enjoy most about doing business in Orange County?  I enjoy doing business in Orange County because I grew up here and it is home to me. The diversity provided by the university is also nice.       

Contact Information:
Owner: David Parks
Address: 620 NC Hwy 54 – Chapel Hill
Hours Saturday:  10 am – 4 pm or by appointment
Telephone # (919) 968-0504