Rakers and Monroes Create Hort Couture Plants

Rakers and Monroes Create Hort Couture Plants

Hort Couture Plants is a new limited liability corporation (LLC) that is based at C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, Mich. Husband-and-wife teams Gerry and Patty Raker and Hort Couture brand founders Jim and Jennifer Monroe signed the papers creating the LLC on Saturday in Columbus. This formalizes the business alliance and structure supporting the fashion-forward brand for independent garden centers.

In addition to providing staffing and overhead, Gerry Raker is providing supply chain coordination and leadership. As one of the top young plant producers, Raker’s has a wealth of experience working with breeders, brokers and growers. Broker partners in the Hort Couture alliance include McHutchison, Eason Horticultural Resources and Fred C. Gloeckner Co. While some relationships have been formed on the young plant side, Raker is looking to establish a wholesale grower network, too, to support the independent garden centers. One grower partner is David Wadsworth, who founded A1A Tropicals with Raker in Miami to produce young plants and finished plants for Hort Couture’s tropical line. The goal is to offer a retail destination with innovative plants year round spanning annuals, edibles, tropicals and blooming potted plants.

“We’re looking at the organization, the entire supply chain–production, distribution and sales,” Gerry says. “Hort Couture is a brand but also a network of independent businesses working together with the brand as a focus. The alliance allows companies to work together in the shadow of global vertical integration. It’s virtual vertical integration without acquisitions.”

At his own company, Gerry has always been known for progressive approaches to team building. “At Raker the focus is on teamwork and communication,” he says. “We’re taking it to another level with teamwork across companies. It’s like going from playing chess to playing 3D chess.”

Jim says he and Jennifer are thrilled to be working with Gerry and Patty. “It’s a great opportunity for us. It puts systems in place that makes things easier for our suppliers, reps and customers.”

The partners pledge to continue to keep Hort Couture just for independent retailers. “The independents need help,” Jim says. “The Home Depots and Lowe’s are getting better everyday.”

Broker Jim Eason, founder of Eason Horticultural Resources, shares why he chose to join the Hort Couture alliance. “For 20 years, I’ve watched the processes that strengthen the independent ornamentals producer in this country,” he says. “This is the only one that I think that is going to do the job.” He adds that he is impressed that true plantsmen from at least five organizations have come together to focus on the independents.

Hort Couture dramatically increased its presence at Short Course this year with six partner booths on the tradeshow floor and two focal retail displays in the outside concourse, one showcasing marketing to Generation X and another leading visitors into the new Retail Interactive center for ideas.

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Rakers and Monroes Create Hort Couture Plants

  1. This may be off topic for this forum, but . . . I’m a garden writer who received samples of Hort Couture plants to trial.

    Every plant has been a show-off success in my zone 7 garden where trial plants are put to the test.

  2. This may be off topic for this forum, but . . . I’m a garden writer who received samples of Hort Couture plants to trial.

    Every plant has been a show-off success in my zone 7 garden where trial plants are put to the test.

More From Varieties...
Suntory Blue Rose Applause

October 21, 2017

Suntory’s Blue Rose ‘Applause’ Now Available to U.S. Florists

‘Applause’ was originally introduced to the U.S. in 2011, and since then it was been successfully tested and selected to meet new market conditions.

Read More

October 17, 2017

14 New Shrubs With Fringe Benefits

What’s popular with shrubs? Consumers want varieties that will give them more return on their investment, in terms of long-lasting blooms and multi-season appeal that lasts from spring until fall and at times stretches into the winter months. Here are 14 new varieties of shrubs and sub-shrubs to consider for your product mix in 2018.

Read More

October 14, 2017

PlantPeddler Hosting Poinsettia Variety Day in December

The event will feature side-by-side comparisons of more than 100 commercial and pre-released varieties from seven breeders.

Read More
Latest Stories
Suntory Blue Rose Applause

October 21, 2017

Suntory’s Blue Rose ‘Applause’ Now Available to U.S. Fl…

‘Applause’ was originally introduced to the U.S. in 2011, and since then it was been successfully tested and selected to meet new market conditions.

Read More

October 17, 2017

14 New Shrubs With Fringe Benefits

What’s popular with shrubs? Consumers want varieties that will give them more return on their investment, in terms of long-lasting blooms and multi-season appeal that lasts from spring until fall and at times stretches into the winter months. Here are 14 new varieties of shrubs and sub-shrubs to consider for your product mix in 2018.

Read More

October 14, 2017

PlantPeddler Hosting Poinsettia Variety Day in December

The event will feature side-by-side comparisons of more than 100 commercial and pre-released varieties from seven breeders.

Read More

October 10, 2017

Coastal Callas Is a Dream Fulfilled for Founder Adrian …

Adrian Espinoza and his family founded Rancho Espinoza Inc. and Coastal Callas in California seven years ago with a mission and purpose to provide consistent quality and reliable supply of calla lilies to the marketplace.

Read More
Azalea Encore Autumn Bonfire

October 4, 2017

Big Changes on the Horizon for Woody Ornamentals

The future looks bright for the woody ornamentals market, with exciting new varieties in the pipeline that will offer greater disease resistance, cold hardiness, bloom capacity, and more.

Read More

October 3, 2017

25 New Blooming Potted Plants for Luxury Sales

Consider these new blooming potted plant varieties that offer full blooms, unique foliage, and a touch of extravagance and easy maintenance for time-strapped customers who want to pamper themselves.

Read More
Hydrangea 'Berry White' (Bailey Nurseries)

October 2, 2017

Woody Ornamentals Market Set for Growth

The woody ornamentals market is looking up. Now, out-of-the box thinking about product offerings and consumer education will keep things moving in the right direction.

Read More

September 27, 2017

New Mum Intros From California Spring Trials 2017

For fall gardening product selection, you can't go wrong with offering mums. Here are a few of the new introductions that we saw at California Spring Trials 2017 that will be making their retail debut in 2018.

Read More
Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer BloomStruck’ (Bailey Nurseries)

September 26, 2017

Bailey Nurseries Enhances Product Development Program, …

Plant Introductions, which Bailey purchased almost three years ago, is being rebranded as Bailey Innovations, an entity that will breed and trial new varieties in Georgia.

Read More
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
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
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
Ball, Tagawa Succulents Partnership

September 14, 2017

Ball Seed to Partner With Tagawa Greenhouses on New Suc…

The new program includes in-demand retail products that are popular with younger shoppers, allowing growers to easily build a comprehensive succulent program and stay on-trend in the marketplace.

Read More
Strait-Laced Elderberry

September 10, 2017

Check Out the Top Varieties On Display at Farwest 2017

A panel of plant experts, along with show attendees, selected their favorite offerings during the Farwest 2017 New Varieties Showcase.

Read More

September 5, 2017

Hort Couture Announces New Propagation and Broker Partn…

The new grower-propagator partners are deeply vested in the independent garden center channel with propagation expertise, as well as finished production focused on the independent grower.

Read More
Helianthus Sunfinity (Syngenta Flowers)

September 3, 2017

Growing Tips for Helianthus Sunflower ‘Sunfinity…

This annual sunflower is a profuse bloomer with strong branching that produces multiple flowers per plant from spring to fall.

Read More
Ball Seed Field Day 2017

September 2, 2017

Highlights from Ball Seed’s Annual Field Day and Landsc…

Attendees of the one-day event had the opportunity to see new plants in up-close-and-personal trials, and engage with speakers and product experts.

Read More