On December 1, Eric Wallien of Roberta’s Inc. in Waldron, IN, officially purchased C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI. The new identity of the company is now Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants, according to a Dec. 1 letter to Raker’s customers, suppliers, and business partners from Vice President Susie Raker-Zimmerman.
“There have been minimal changes in management and we will be providing the same products and services on which we have built our reputation in the industry,” Raker-Zimmerman said in the letter, which also announced the name change and new logo.
The sale of C. Raker & Sons was announced in September . A series of events affecting Raker’s financial situation caused the need for the operation to find an alternate solution. Roberta’s had been a customer of Raker’s since 2011, and the fourth generation, family owned grower-retailer was a fan of Raker’s commitment to quality. The agreement to purchase C. Raker & Sons was based on a solid working relationship with the team, said Wallien.
“This opportunity was one that we felt was in the best interest of both parties,” he said. “We’re partnering with one of our main suppliers and gaining a great foothold in the young plant sector. We couldn’t be more excited.”
The sale also marks the retirement of Gerry and Patty Raker, who had led C. Raker & Sons for many years. When the acquisition was announced, Raker-Zimmerman said the team was energized by the promise of new opportunities the new partnership offered, and from a structural standpoint, the blending of the two organization is a good fit.
“The organization is excited about the opportunity to move forward and to what we do best, which is produce plants,” Raker-Zimmerman said.
The new business, Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants, will retain the Trial Gardens, which showcase more than 9 acres of plant varieties and host more than 2,000 people annually, and the proprietary Living Color fundraiser program, Raker-Zimmerman said.