The Berry Family of Nurseries Take On Investor

The Berry Family of Nurseries Take On Investor

At a time when major industry leaders are struggling to secure financial backing, The Berry Family of Nurseries has emerged as one of the strongest national nursery operation. The family business based in Tahlequah, Okla., solidified its financial position even more by selling majority interest to Insight Equity Holdings LLC, a Dallas-based private equity firm.

This new partnership places the Berry Family of Nurseries on a new growth trajectory that will position it to take advantage of future opportunities. Berry is one of the nation’s largest wholesale growers of ornamental horticulture, with 13 growing facilities spanning the United States.  Customer base includes big box retailers and independent garden centers. A significant component of the mix includes Knock Out and Flower Carpet roses, Encore azaleas, Proven Winners and Forever & Ever hydrangeas, azaleas and groundcovers, as well as a strategic partnership with garden and lifestyle expert, TV personality and author P. Allen Smith. 

When the company was founded in 1992 by Bob and Burl Berry as Tri-B, they entered the market with a clear vision of serving large national retailers.  The company grew from one to 13 facilities through acquisitions over time.

Since 1994, two years after starting Tri-B Nursery (in Oklahoma), the following locations were acquired:  Park Hill Plants (Oklahoma), Judkins Nursery (Tennessee), Zelenka Nursery (Michigan, North Carolina  and Tennessee), Thomas & Walters (now Zelenka West in Oregon).  The most recent strategic geographic location is Tri-B leasing Imperial Nurseries’ facility in Quincy, Fla.  Going forward, all facilities will operate under the umbrella of The Berry Family of Nurseries, BFN Operations LLC. The acquisition does not include Park Hill Plants & Trees and the Berry family landscape operation Sanders Nursery & Distribution.   

Additional growth could be through existing operations or more acquisitions, if there’s an opportunity that makes sense. “This will give us the wherewithal and means to continue and exceed the growth we have experienced in recent years.” Bob Berry says. In addition to expanding geographically, Insight sees potential to add niche product lines. Conner Searcy, a partner at Insight, says, “It is a testament to the strength of the business that in the last few years, it has grown and gained market share in an industry that has experienced a tremendous amount of turbulence.”

The industry is predicting a shortage of fresh nursery material after several years of glut. “It has been starved for cash to build inventory,” Bob says. “We have a full line of young, high quality plant inventory that is very salable and in prime condition. If a shortage should occur, we will have the inventory to take advantage.”

A shortage is expected because nursery operations of all sizes have not been able to move plants and the inventory has become overgrown or obsolete while taking up production space. Nurseries that have focused on the wholesale landscape trade have been hurt by the halt in construction, while those that have focused on the independent garden center channel, like Monrovia, are hurting, too. Aligning with the big box channel while also serving the independents has served The Berry Family of Nurseries well. Big-box retailers simply have more resources to invest in advertising to draw customer traffic.

“This new relationship between The Berry Family of Nurseries and Insight Equity further strengthens our leadership position and we look forward to serving our customers and growing the industry.” Says Burl Berry.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “The Berry Family of Nurseries Take On Investor

  1. I met one of your salespeople by the name of Dick on Thursday of this week at our annual roadshow in Iowa for The Homedepot.I asked him if he could get my store(2115) something in coneflowers besides purple,white or the double pinks.There are many new colors available (Sombrero Red to name one) that I would like to offer our customers.For too long we have offered just basic plants in basic colors and while that may be good, we need to be better than that to grow.I am delighted to partner with you and excited to see what excitement you can offer to my customers here in Urbandale Iowa at Store 2115. It was great to visit with Dick and will keep you informed as the season progresses about the selection and quality. Thanks so much! Mike.

  2. I am looking for a Henery Clematis, would you happen to have one, or know where I might get one? Thank-you Kay Slay

Latest Stories
Green Fuse Lupine Staircase Pink

September 24, 2017

How to Effectively Grow Staircase Lupine

The Staircase Lupine series, part of Green Fuse Botanicals’ First Light Perennials collection, has the potential to put on a great display with solid and bicolor hues.

Read More
Terra Nova 2018 Catalog

September 23, 2017

Terra Nova Nurseries’ Latest Plant Catalog is Now Avail…

The new 2017-2018 plant catalog, which features hundreds of varieties, series, and collections from Terra Nova Nurseries, pays homage to the company’s 25th anniversary.

Read More
Steve Garvey, Dallas Johnson Greenhouses

September 23, 2017

Producing Quality Plants in the Greenhouse Starts From …

It's common for growers to make mistakes. What you learn from those mistakes is what sets you apart as a grower and where quality starts.

Read More
Soil Dosage Bunkers at Meyers Greenhouses feature

September 22, 2017

An Up-Close Look at Meyers Greenhouses’ Central Soil De…

Head Grower Aron Hoff was looking for a way to customize soil mixes on multiple planting lines in real time. The system he’s now using makes the process much simpler.

Read More
Hurricane Irma Damage

September 22, 2017

Hurricane Recovery Update: Aris Resumes Shipping, Assis…

Harvey and Irma wreaked havoc on the floriculture and nursery industries in Texas, Florida, and elsewhere. Here are the latest updates.

Read More
Armitage GWA Buffalo Tour 5

September 21, 2017

Tour of Buffalo Gardens Reveals Hidden Gems And Communi…

This past August, Allan Armitage joined the Association for Garden Communicators on a tour of Buffalo. It was a reminder that that we can make a difference in neighborhoods, in cities, and in people’s lives.

Read More
Quality in the Greenhouse

September 21, 2017

Two Head Growers and a Retail Live Goods Buyer Talk Bes…

Ultimately, the quality of the plants you grow will be responsible for the success of the consumer, and consumer success will ideally translate to repeat sales. That’s why quality must be a top priority for all growers, according to Brad Julian, a Live Goods Buyer for Lowe’s Home Improvement, and Head Growers Dennis Crum of Four Star Greenhouse and Joe Moore of Lucas Greenhouses.

Read More

September 21, 2017

Horticulture Is All About Connections

The beauty of our industry is that we are more than willing to reach out and help those around us. What connections can you make today to help your business, and what can you offer to help another grower?

Read More
SBI Rack Scanning feature

September 20, 2017

8 Questions To Ask, And Answer, Before You Invest in Ne…

Implementing new software in your greenhouse business may seem overwhelming at first, but doing your homework will pay off in the long run.

Read More

September 19, 2017

Horticulture Business Leaders Demand Resolution to Labo…

AmericanHort's Impact Washington event was an importantly timed mission of advocacy for the green industry, delivering messages to lawmakers on three of the most pressing issues – labor and the workforce, research and innovation, and tax reform.

Read More

September 19, 2017

Here’s Your Chance to Earn CEUs in Weed Management

The University of Florida is offering a new online training course covering weed management in the greenhouse. The course offers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for growers in many states.

Read More
Boxwood Blight

September 19, 2017

Concerned About Boxwood Blight? Here Are Some Updated M…

AmericanHort’s Horticultural Research Institute has released an updated version of its boxwood blight Best Management Practices document.

Read More
Hydrangea mac. Fire Island (Monrovia Nursery)

September 19, 2017

Grower-Retailers Pick Their Favorites From Farwest 2017

Members of The Garden Center Group once again named their top selections in both live and hard goods for the Retailers’ Choice Awards at Farwest 2017.

Read More
Valoya Lights

September 18, 2017

3 Steps to Improving the Efficiency of Your LED Systems

Achieving the largest possible optimal light intensity area with the lowest possible number of lights is essential to making an investment in LEDs pay off.

Read More
Suntory Grandessa argyranthemum - feature

September 18, 2017

Breeders Open Availability for Unrooted Cuttings; Here&…

With new avenues for buying young plants for vegetative production, growers should have an easier time finding availability and receiving shipments of unrooted cuttings for the coming seasons.

Read More
Micandy Gardens Team

September 17, 2017

4 Ways Micandy Gardens Greenhouses Reaches Out to Mill…

Micandy leverages social media to get the word out about its products and spread the word about how flowers can make a difference in people’s lives.

Read More
MANTS

September 16, 2017

Registration for MANTS 2018 Now Open

MANTS, which takes place Jan. 10-12, 2018, in Baltimore, MD, brings together green industry professionals from around the world.

Read More
Proven Winners Potting Soil and Plant Food

September 15, 2017

Sun Gro Forms New Distribution Agreement with Proven Wi…

Sun Gro will distribute Proven Winners-branded potting soils and plant foods to independent garden centers.

Read More