April 29, 2011

The Bright Side Of Contract Growing

Plants Unlimited President Nirmal Shah knows what it’s like to devote a majority of a greenhouse production facility to a single customer and lose all of that business in an instant. The lost business was Frank’s Nursery & Crafts, which at one time was a retail chain with a couple hundred stores on the East Coast. In May 2002, though, Frank’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, leaving the operation previously known as Van Boven’s Greenhouses with 10-plus acres of greenhouses to fill in Kalamazoo, Mich. “We were in kind of a panic situation at the end of the spring,” Shah says. “[Former owner] Larry [Boven] did not get paid for some amount of his product–not like all of it–but he did not receive a good amount. Going forward, we had to ask what are we going to do to replace that business? Out of the 13 acres, 10 1/2 or […]

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