December 5, 2007

Pleasant View Optimizes Shipping

Pleasant View Gardens (PVG) in Loudon, N.H. has introduced a Mode Optimization Shipping Program to choose the best mode of delivery for each customer. Transportation logistics for all PVG orders are now determined by the company’s shipping department with customers’ needs in mind. “The transportation landscape has changed so much over the past few years,” says PVG’s President Henry Huntington. “FedEx has so many more options now, and with disposable pallet and carton options, there are so many ways to send and receive shipments. The idea with the Mode Optimization Shipping Program is to leave all our customers’ freight concerns up to us.” He says PVG will take into consideration each customer’s unique situations when determining the best way to ship. Are they close to an airport? Is ground transportation cheaper, easier and faster? When does it need to arrive? What are the weather conditions? “We’ll optimize each customer’s shipment […]

Read More

November 28, 2007

VIEWS: A Shift In Pricing Power

Can manufacturers establish retail pricing? A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has sparked an interesting discussion between grower Tom Culak of Good Earth Greenhouse in Lockport, Ill., and Jim Ralles, who represents a few horticultural manufacturers through ARI in Belmont, Calif. Culak told Ralles about the Supreme Court ruling over the summer that overturned a 96-year-old antitrust precedent, by stating manufacturers and distributors could agree with retailers on minimum prices for products. Before, manufacturers and distributors could only suggest retail prices or withhold products from noncomplying stores, according to Bloomberg News. The original 1911 decision in Dr. Miles vs. Park made vertical minimum price agreements illegal, regardless of the impact on competition. In the new decision split between the justices, who voted 5 to 4, the majority said price-floor agreements should be evaluated under the “rule of reason,” a legal doctrine that assesses restraints on trade by looking at the impact […]

Read More

November 21, 2007

Growers Top Pike’s List Of Creditors

Whenever there is a big Chapter 11 filing in the industry, one of the most unsettling aspects is the ripple effect that can hurt other companies. According to bankruptcy court records, Pike Nursery Holding LLC in Atlanta owes nearly $5.6 million to its 20 largest unsecured creditors. At least half of these companies are growers. At the very top of the list is Monrovia in California, which is owed $716,779. Next is Wight Nurseries in Atlanta, Ga., which is owed $689,289. On the greenhouse growing side, Wenke Greenhouse in Kalamazoo, Mich., and sister division Sunbelt Greenhouses in Douglas, Ga., are owed more than $500,000 for summer and fall crops. Owner Dennis Wenke says he met with officers of Pike last Monday before the bankruptcy filing, so he knew it was coming. Pike will be paying cash on delivery for poinsettias. “As of now, I’m not concerned about our poinsettia crop,” […]

Read More

November 14, 2007

Bell Nursery Buys Ulery Greenhouse

Bell Nursery, based in Burtonsville, Md., announced that it has acquired Ulery Greenhouse Company in Springfield, Ohio. This marks an expansion for Bell Nursery, which currently supplies plants to Home Depot and others in the Mid-Atlantic region. Now Bell will be able to supply plants to retailers in the Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Ohio area. “The Bell business model is well suited to an acquisition of a company like Ulery which is a well established and respected business in Central Ohio,” says Gary Mangum of Bell Nursery. “The Ulery physical plant as well as their strong employee base offers a great platform for business expansion. Quality is extremely important, and the Ulery name and heritage is associated with quality production.” “Today marks a new chapter for us,” said Bryan Ulery, “Bell Nursery is an outstanding company with great leadership, setting the standard for excellence in quality and service in our industry.” Bryan […]

Read More

November 7, 2007

Glass Corner Greenhouses Closes

Last week Glass Corner Greenhouses in Grand Rapids, Mich. announced it has shut down its operations and transferred its young plants business to Neal Mast & Son Greenhouses. In a letter to brokers and sales representatives dated Oct. 31, owners Rick and Joyce Mast wrote:” “It is with great sadness and deep regret we must inform you that Glass Corner Greenhouses will cease operations as of this date. Due to five years of continuous setbacks and extraordinary circumstances, we are unable to meet our debts and financial obligations, therefore forcing us to close our business. After exhausting all financial possibilities and investing everything both personally and professionally to save the company, it is impossible for us to remain in operation as Glass Corner Greenhouses.”  Related to transferring the young plants business to Neal Mast & Son, the couple wrote: “Only the name is different; everything else you have been accustomed […]

Read More

October 24, 2007

Management Changes At Walters Gardens

Dave Walters, president of Walters Gardens in Zeeland, Mich., has retired after 40 years of service. Evan Elenbaas, who has been vice president of sales for 15 years, has been promoted to president, and industry veteran Niles Riese has joined Walters as the new vice president of sales. Dave Walters is the eldest son of Dennis Walters, who started the family business in 1946. He worked his way up from pulling weeds in the field to president of the perennial growing operation. In the office, he entered orders and made shipping labels on a manual typewriter and lead the transition to a “paperless” office in the 1990s. He started the first computer system used in the office and was the company’s first sales manager. In his retirement, he says he’s looking forward to spending more time with his wife and family. As the new president Elenbaas says he plans to […]

Read More

October 24, 2007

Two Young Growers Buy Boven’s

Grower Larry Boven of Boven’s Quality Plants in Kalamazoo, Mich., has sold his business to two enterprising young growers. The 14-acre Van Boven’s greenhouse facility was sold to grower employee Nirmal Shah, who grew up in India and came to this country to pursue a career in horticulture at Penn State University, earning his degree in horticulture and business. He joined Boven’s fresh out of school six years ago. The sale closed in August and Shah has changed the name of the business to Plants Unlimited. He specializes in growing blooming potted plants and hanging baskets and is a contract grower for Masterpiece Flower Co., which serves Meijer and Home Depot. The original seven-acre Boven’s facility six miles away was purchased by another grower employee, Kris Van de Streek. He is retaining the name Boven’s Quality Plants. Boven’s daughter, Laurie, still works in the office. Van de streek’s customers are […]

Read More

October 17, 2007

Ecke Family Honored By Local Charity

Paul Ecke III and his family were the first recipients of Community Resource Center’s (CRC) Community Star Award for more than 80 years of dedication to improving the lives of children and families in Encinitas, Calif., and beyond. The gala fundraiser held Sept. 29 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Sports Club raised a record quarter million dollars for programs that shelter abused women and children, provide vital assistance to low-income families and help the homeless transition off the streets. “Paul Ecke III put the spotlight on CRC, sponsors invested in CRC at higher levels and individual supporters came through for us at the event,” says CRC Executive Director Laurin Pause. “This record fundraising level is a new benchmark for us and the positive impact it will have on people who need our help is incalculable.” Loren Nancarrow of 10News introduced the honoree, Paul Ecke III, who shared the award with […]

Read More

October 10, 2007

Ivy Acres Names New President

Ivy Acres, a wholesale grower of annuals and perennials in Calverton, N.Y, and Vineland, N.J., recently promoted Brian Sullivan to president. Sullivan had been Ivy Acres’ vice president of sales and marketing since 2002. Prior to joining the company he was vice president of sales at Fernlea Flowers Ltd. in Delhi, Ontario. Before joining the greenhouse floriculture industry, Sullivan has been part of the team at Florida Power & Light that won “The Deming Prize”–Japan’s highest award for management excellence in 1989 and was the first non-Japanese company to be considered. He also spent eight years as a consultant to various industries in theUnited States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and other countries. Three Australian clients won the Australian Quality Award and two U.S. clients won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Ivy Acres owner Jack Van de Wetering says, “I’m very excited to have Brian at the helm. He brings […]

Read More

September 19, 2007

Wal-Mart On Sustainability

Wal-Mart’s Senior Horticultural Buyer Ron Coben shared the retail giant’s corporate vision for sustainability and what it means to growers last week at Grower Talks’ Greenhouse Experience in Cleveland. Wal-Mart already has started working with growers and our industry at large on sustainable initiatives. Examples Coben shared, both related and unrelated to Wal-Mart, include: The rollout of Earth Essentials as the Wal-Mart exclusive version of Ball Horticultural Co.’s Circle of Life program for independent garden centers. The Wal-Mart biodegradable pots are green versus brown. The program was in select markets this year. Partnering with Ball on getting growers certified for sustainable practices through Veriflora. Fairview Greenhouses in Missouri using turkey beaks and feet as fuel from a nearby turkey farm. Growers and the University of Florida using Smart Grow pad made of human hair in China in the tops of nursery pots to reduce the need for watering, fertilizing and […]

Read More

September 12, 2007

Pallet Shipper Saves Freight

Northwest Horticulture’s new Pallet Shipper has helped the perennial propagator pass freight savings onto its grower customers. Based in Mt. Vernon, Wash., the company ships nationally from the Northwest corner of the United States and is always looking for ways to drive down delivery costs. Ranked at No. 21 on our Top 25 Young Plant Growers, Northwest Horticulture produces perennials, groundcovers and landscape roses in more than a million square feet of greenhouse space and 600 additional acres of outdoor production. The company’s new Pallet Shipper program has made truck shipping a viable option for growers looking for high quality plugs at a cost-effective price. The crush-resistant packaging system is stacked on pallets, delievering dormant trays to growers’ doors. “The Pallet Shipper stacking system allows air to circulate through the plants during shipping,” says Richard Gigot, Northwest Horticulture’s director of sales and marketing. “Traditional boxed shipments don’t allow this.” Since […]

Read More

August 15, 2007

Wisconsin Energy Incentives

Tropical Gardens, a 70,000-square-foot greenhouse operation in Mosinee, Wis., is saving thousands of dollars in fuel costs after undergoing an energy audit and installing a thermal energy curtain. The free energy assessment was conducted by Focus On Energy, which works with Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Tropical Gardens received $3,500 in financial incentives to install the curtain, which saved nearly $11,000 in energy costs the first year. The payback period for this installation was less than two years. For more information, visit Focus On Energy’s Web site.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]