In a statement released July 3, 2012, CEO Jens Molbak announced that Molbak’s would be suspending growing operations and stop production at the company’s 40-acre Sammamish Valley production facility in Redmond, Wash., at the end of 2012. Molbak says the company will continue to focus on its retail business.
“I’ve been looking at this for many years. We made the decision that we want to focus on retail and not growing,” Molbak says. “Our retail store was profitable and it was paying for our growing operation for the past three years.
Molbak’s, which was unique in that it offered customers a wide assortment of plants in small qualities, grew 30 percent of what was sold at retail. The other 70 percent came from a network of growers in the Midwest.
“From the growing side, I see a series of smaller specialty growers with unique plants. You need a large number of customers to be diversified. You cannot be dependent on one player. Or you need to grow big, big numbers of standard varieties that sell to a lot of people. If you are in between, it is difficult to make a profit.”
The plan is to lease the growing facility to another local grower looking to expand. Molbak expects to find someone within the next six to 12 months.