Green Leaf Nursery, Inc. of Homestead, FL, has a long history of producing indoor foliage and tropical plants. It covers 50 acres, employs about 80 people, and is co-owned by brothers Gus and Tom Pena.
Jose Smith, CEO of Costa Farms, says the move is a sign of Costa Farms’ evolution.
“This is the first acquisition since joining forces with Markel Corporation,” he says. “We’re excited to partner with Green Leaf and continue to expand our operations to better serve our customers.”
Green Leaf will operate under its own brand for spring of 2018 and will then be rolled into the Costa team. The investment by Costa Farms means a greater infrastructure and a wider variety of products will be available to the Green Leaf team.
In an interview with Greenhouse Grower, Smith said that Costa and Green Leaf have somewhat of a crossover in customers, he hopes the acquisition will allow Costa Farms to expand Green Leaf offerings.
“We believe we’ll be able to drive more sales and make our assortment a little better. Those guys do a great job already, and the combination of the two teams will help even more.”
“We’re excited to join the Costa Farms family and become part of a more robust organization,” says Gus Pena of Green Leaf. “We look forward to serving our customers in a bigger, better way.”
As consumers become more invested in connecting with nature and adding potted plants and green walls to homes, the houseplant industry continues to grow.
“This gives Green Leaf access to a more expansive offering, including Costa’s Exotic Angel, WaterWick, and Desert Gems brands,” says Tom Pena.
By acquiring Green Leaf, Costa Farms, which was #2 on Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 Top 100 Growers list, continues to expand its share in the growing houseplant category.
“We’re always looking to bring new solutions to our customers,” Smith says. “But we also have a laser-sharp focus on the end consumer. Working with another quality grower like Green Leaf allows us to expand our footprint while maintaining our standards to benefit our customers — and ultimately deliver a great plant experience for the end consumer.”
In terms of future expansion, Smitih says there is nothing specific planned, but Costa will continue to seek out ways to grow even further, with the blessing of its partnership with Markel.
“They’ve been supportive of our growth even as Hurricane Irma did some damage last year,” Smith says. “We have a few shortfalls this year thanks to the storm, but should be back at full strength by the middle of spring.”