Costa Farms Purchases Bernecker’s Nursery

Costa Farms is expanding its customer reach and opening new markets for its interior foliage business with the acquisition of Bernecker’s Nursery, an interior tropical plant grower in Homestead, Fla. 

Costa Farms obtained rights to the Bernecker’s name and certain business assets and will continue to service its existing customer base of independent garden centers and interiorscapers who cater to “green” buildings, offices and businesses.

Additionally, Costa will maintain production of interior tropical plants at Bernecker’s locations in south Florida.

“For more than 40 years the name Bernecker’s has been synonymous with superior quality interior tropical plants,” says Jose Smith, president and chief executive officer of Costa Farms.  “We now can offer our current and new customers expanded interior tropical plant solutions.

“Bernecker’s exceptional reputation with top IGCs and interiorscapers is a natural fit for us. We’re excited to reach out to these new customers and are committed to Costa’s business philosophy to be a dynamic and trusted solution provider.”

Smith ensured a seamless transition for all Bernecker’s customers and a smooth changeover for its employees.

Leave a Reply

17 comments on “Costa Farms Purchases Bernecker’s Nursery

  1. Costa would better serve its customers if it improved the quality of its plants rather than try to be the biggest nursery. Some of the material being sold in Home Depot and Walmart with the Costa label leaves a lot to be desired. But on the other hand, the buyers at these box stores could use a lesson or two on the grading of plants. Many people in our industry talk quality as do the box stores but in the end it is all about price,and as a result the customer loses and becomes disenchanted. The box stores need to go back to having more vendors and insisting on selling quality merchandise.

  2. The box stores buy on price.Anyone who sales to them will privately tell you that. They tell the public different by insisting they buy “quality”. Its been the same for over thirty years. The names have changed but the game is the same.

  3. The quality of plants you see ios all over the map. Mostly junk with a few exceptional plants on rare occasions. The good stuff sells and the junk keeps piling up. I recently purchased a 3 gal Hydrangea at Lowes that was really nice for $22.00, not that cheap.
    The rest of the plants would have never made it off of the truck if anyone knew what they were doing. It was all crap.

  4. Volume and quality is an oxymoron, they are large enough and absorbing more of the market due to transportation control and not quality control of plant material shipped.

  5. Right on the money! Ever since the big box stores changed from buying direct from growers to buying everything from 2 or 3 big brokers the quality of product they sell has turned mostly to junk. Price pressure forced growers to cut quality in order to play the “lowest price” game with brokers. What’s really upsetting is the consumer apparently doesn’t object to buying lower quality plant material as long as it’s cheap. What’s that old saying coined by P. T. Barnum? Oh yeah, “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

  6. It’s not that the customer’s willing to buy lower quality it’s that they don’t have many options. If they/you happen to be in the store on the day foliage products are delivered then the quality is usually good. But from that day forward the quality diminishes until it’s on the “mark-down” rack. That brings up another big box issue, marking down plants that are obviously dead! I always try to tell any employee I can that it’s a good thing they don’t sell dogs! It paints a good image for them of a dead dog for 50% off – but it doesn’t change behavior.
    Costa grows/sells good quality or they wouldn’t be successful enough to afford expansion.

  7. I read the various comments about Costa and I agree that their quality is up and down. I think that their expansion is not from their profits from growing plants but rather from their real estate deals. A lot of plants get thrown out or marked down at the big box stores. Costa only gets paid for what is scanned, so I ask you how many plants does one have to grow to make up for the profits from one thrown out plant. The Big Box stores and Costa are playing a dangerous game. What is Home Depot and the likes going to do if Costa has deal with a major catastrophe to their production areas or files for bankruptcy? On the other side of the coin what is Costa going to do with all their product if Home Depot decides to scale back their nursery dept? There is safety in numbers for the Box stores to have multiple suppliers as well as for Costa not to heavily rely on the Big Box stores. Right now Costa is riding the wave but it will only last so long. Just ask those at Hines, Monrovia and scores of other nurseries who thought they were golden. One would think in this economic downturn the plants Costa grew would be of superior quality. They are far from it and Costa actually grew a better plant when the economy was going full steam ahead. Engelmann used to supply Home Depot with much of their 4″ foliage and foliage hanging baskets now all you see is material being grown by Costa and it does not hold a candle to that produced by Engelmann. You have to wonder just what Home Depot is thinking.

  8. Costa would better serve its customers if it improved the quality of its plants rather than try to be the biggest nursery. Some of the material being sold in Home Depot and Walmart with the Costa label leaves a lot to be desired. But on the other hand, the buyers at these box stores could use a lesson or two on the grading of plants. Many people in our industry talk quality as do the box stores but in the end it is all about price,and as a result the customer loses and becomes disenchanted. The box stores need to go back to having more vendors and insisting on selling quality merchandise.

  9. The box stores buy on price.Anyone who sales to them will privately tell you that. They tell the public different by insisting they buy “quality”. Its been the same for over thirty years. The names have changed but the game is the same.

  10. The quality of plants you see ios all over the map. Mostly junk with a few exceptional plants on rare occasions. The good stuff sells and the junk keeps piling up. I recently purchased a 3 gal Hydrangea at Lowes that was really nice for $22.00, not that cheap.
    The rest of the plants would have never made it off of the truck if anyone knew what they were doing. It was all crap.

  11. Volume and quality is an oxymoron, they are large enough and absorbing more of the market due to transportation control and not quality control of plant material shipped.

  12. Right on the money! Ever since the big box stores changed from buying direct from growers to buying everything from 2 or 3 big brokers the quality of product they sell has turned mostly to junk. Price pressure forced growers to cut quality in order to play the “lowest price” game with brokers. What’s really upsetting is the consumer apparently doesn’t object to buying lower quality plant material as long as it’s cheap. What’s that old saying coined by P. T. Barnum? Oh yeah, “there’s a sucker born every minute.”

  13. It’s not that the customer’s willing to buy lower quality it’s that they don’t have many options. If they/you happen to be in the store on the day foliage products are delivered then the quality is usually good. But from that day forward the quality diminishes until it’s on the “mark-down” rack. That brings up another big box issue, marking down plants that are obviously dead! I always try to tell any employee I can that it’s a good thing they don’t sell dogs! It paints a good image for them of a dead dog for 50% off – but it doesn’t change behavior.
    Costa grows/sells good quality or they wouldn’t be successful enough to afford expansion.

  14. I read the various comments about Costa and I agree that their quality is up and down. I think that their expansion is not from their profits from growing plants but rather from their real estate deals. A lot of plants get thrown out or marked down at the big box stores. Costa only gets paid for what is scanned, so I ask you how many plants does one have to grow to make up for the profits from one thrown out plant. The Big Box stores and Costa are playing a dangerous game. What is Home Depot and the likes going to do if Costa has deal with a major catastrophe to their production areas or files for bankruptcy? On the other side of the coin what is Costa going to do with all their product if Home Depot decides to scale back their nursery dept? There is safety in numbers for the Box stores to have multiple suppliers as well as for Costa not to heavily rely on the Big Box stores. Right now Costa is riding the wave but it will only last so long. Just ask those at Hines, Monrovia and scores of other nurseries who thought they were golden. One would think in this economic downturn the plants Costa grew would be of superior quality. They are far from it and Costa actually grew a better plant when the economy was going full steam ahead. Engelmann used to supply Home Depot with much of their 4″ foliage and foliage hanging baskets now all you see is material being grown by Costa and it does not hold a candle to that produced by Engelmann. You have to wonder just what Home Depot is thinking.

  15. I worked for Berneckers Nursery many many years ago 1980s ,. and I ran there real property deed threw the property & tax collector in Miami dade county burnickers still owns all the real property what I think costa got was probably some kind of business interest out of burnickers nursery or a lease.. they still own all the real property and buildings down there on sw 216 st as of apirl 2015 according to public records,. and burnickers nuersery is still owned by Robert g Burnicker according to the Florida department of state.. business registrations

    so this might be them selling to costa and costa reselling the plants agreement ware as costa takes care of all the customer service and selling issues and burnicker just does the planting and growing .

More From Top 100 Growers...
Botany-Lane-Tropical

November 20, 2017

Botany Lane Greenhouses Announces Expansion Into Young Plants

Botany Lane, a producer of finished tropical plants, succulents, and specialty annuals in the Western U.S., recently announced it is expanding to provide young plants for growers and grower-retailers.

Read More
Damarys-Mora-Crawford-Costa-Farms

November 16, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Marketing Director Eager to Tap Into Changing Consumer Needs

In her new position, Damarys Mora Crawford will lead Costa Farms’ marketing team and create and execute strategic marketing initiatives to support continued sales growth for the company’s retail customers.

Read More
Speedling-Environmental-Award

November 9, 2017

Speedling Wins Environmental Leadership Award From Florida Ag Commissioner

Speedling has eight nurseries throughout the country and two in Florida, where moisture levels are carefully analyzed to improve performance and consistency of transplant operations.

Read More
Latest Stories
Botany-Lane-Tropical

November 20, 2017

Botany Lane Greenhouses Announces Expansion Into Young …

Botany Lane, a producer of finished tropical plants, succulents, and specialty annuals in the Western U.S., recently announced it is expanding to provide young plants for growers and grower-retailers.

Read More
Damarys-Mora-Crawford-Costa-Farms

November 16, 2017

Costa Farms’ New Marketing Director Eager to Tap Into C…

In her new position, Damarys Mora Crawford will lead Costa Farms’ marketing team and create and execute strategic marketing initiatives to support continued sales growth for the company’s retail customers.

Read More
Speedling-Environmental-Award

November 9, 2017

Speedling Wins Environmental Leadership Award From Flor…

Speedling has eight nurseries throughout the country and two in Florida, where moisture levels are carefully analyzed to improve performance and consistency of transplant operations.

Read More
Costa Farms Owners

August 1, 2017

Costa Farms Will Maintain Operations “the Costa Way” Wi…

The Miami, FL-based, Top 100 Grower operation announced an agreement for Markel to acquire a majority interest in Costa Farms and its related companies. But the operation will continue to be run by current leadership, with the partnership Markel offers to allow it to continue to grow.

Read More
ISO Cutting Machine

May 16, 2017

The Top 100 Growers are Investing in More Technology to…

Labor has traditionally been among growers’ most significant costs, but the continued rising costs and lack of available labor are currently two very heavy burdens that growers have to bear. As the labor supply dwindles, the Top 100 Growers discuss their next steps toward investing in technology to streamline efficiency at their respective operations.

Read More

May 16, 2017

The Top 100 Growers Speak Out on Changes Needed in Immi…

Opinions about the new administration’s approach to immigration reform vary widely among Greenhouse Grower‘s Top 100 Growers. Many say they are “very concerned” about the potential impact on agriculture’s guestworker programs. Others say the entire guestworker program needs to be overhauled to be simpler and easier to use for growers, and hope that this will be part of the reform efforts. And some seem to be generally in favor of the current methods. “I am in favor of securing the borders but want a simple system for legal residency.” — Dale Buist, Countryside Greenhouse and Farm Market “All this talk has made huge waves in the migrant labor workforce. Continuing this path will create an even greater shortage of employees willing to do our type of work.” — Mark Worley, Speedling, Inc. “[Trump] is only enforcing and not reforming. We will lose a lot of our best employees if this […]

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

May 12, 2017

How the Top 100 Greenhouse Growers Tackle Managing Cost…

The country’s largest growers continue to strive to maintain a balance with price and costs while making sure they stand out from the competition.

Read More

May 8, 2017

Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Behind the Scenes: How (and W…

It’s more important than ever to have good data that allows us to accurately measure the size and scope of our industry.

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

May 8, 2017

2017 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: The Complete Li…

Growth signifies a healthy industry, and indeed, several of Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers expanded their operations significantly between 2016 and 2017.

Read More

April 11, 2017

Jerry Halamuda of Color Spot Nurseries Retires

The co-founder of Color Spot Nurseries has retired, effective immediately, and has named a replacement.

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

February 18, 2017

Top 100 Growers Survey for 2017 Is Now Open!

Operations with more than 400,000 square feet of environmentally controlled production are eligible to take the survey, which only takes a few minutes to complete.

Read More
Dan and Jerrys Greenhouse 1

February 17, 2017

Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouse Buys Iowa-Based DeJong Green…

The acquisition will allow Dan and Jerry’s, a bedding plant grower headquartered in Minnesota, to extend its seasonal product offerings and service a new customer base with local distribution.

Read More
Dallas Johnson

January 17, 2017

Dallas Johnson Greenhouses Owner Passes Away at 78

Dallas G. Johnson, who started the company in 1985, is survived by his wife, Kay, and two children.

Read More
Top 100 Breakfast Panel for 2016

July 19, 2016

Top 100 Growers Talk Labor, Automation, And Sustainabil…

More than 60 growers got up with the sun at Cultivate’16 to hear a four-person panel discuss hot topics such as labor, automation, and sustainability at Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers Breakfast, sponsored by BASF.

Read More
Costa Farms won International Grower of the Year. Representing the operation, (left to right) were Chuck Zala, Michael Vera, Menachem Ganon, Jose Costa, and Mike Rimland

May 24, 2016

AIPH Seeking Entries For Its International Grower of th…

The International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) is inviting ornamental growers from all around the world to enter the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards (IGOTY) for 2017. Last year’s big winner was Florida-based Costa Farms.

Read More
Top 100 Drone Image Feature

May 16, 2016

Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers Talk Technolo…

The Top 100 Growers are already by nature some of the most technologically advanced greenhouse operations, due to their sheer size and need for efficiency. Many of the largest growers also serve big box merchandisers and home improvement chains, where prices are dictated, so producing plants at the lowest possible cost is essential to growers not only staying in business, but also profiting and expanding their operations. This year’s survey focused on the automation and technology the Top 100 Growers are investing in, and how these advancements have improved their operations, as well as how they have affected growers’ labor issues. We also asked growers about how they’re solving labor issues, where they’re recruiting new hires, and how they’re keeping their people committed. Lean management programs and sustainability certifications have become higher priorities in the past several years, due to growers’ needs to run efficiently and focus attention on sustainable […]

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers With Drone

May 10, 2016

Reading The 2016 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Ranki…

Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers survey reveals continued growth among the nation’s largest operations.

Read More
2016 Top 100 Growers List

May 10, 2016

2016 Greenhouse Grower Top 100 Growers: The Comp…

Check out the full list of Greenhouse Grower's 2016 Top 100 Growers, which includes nine newcomers and more growth in square footage at the top.

Read More