There’s more consolidation happening in the industry this month: Star Roses and Plants has purchased BrazelBerries from Fall Creek Farm & Nursery. As you might remember, Star Roses and Plants, the trading name for Conard Pyle, became part of the Ball Horticultural family in August 2015.
BrazelBerries was the first branded program for Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, which is primarily a breeder (the world’s leader in blueberry genetics, according to Garden Media Group Founder Suzi McCoy), and and blueberry nursery company supplying commercial fruit growers globally as well as wholesale nursery growers. Fall Creek’s owners saw the consumer appeal and potential in a patio-grown, thornless raspberry variety that they were trialing on their own patio, and realized they had something big, Fall Creek’s Marketing and Brand Manager Amy Daniel says. Fall Creek’s breeding program also had several blueberry varieties that showed great promise for the ornamental market, and so BrazelBerries was created and launched with three initial varieties, including two blueberries and ‘Raspberry Shortcake,’ the thornless, dwarf raspberry that so impressed Dave Brazelton years before.
Both Fall Creek and BrazelBerries have grown enormously over the past three years. After careful analysis and strategic planning, Fall Creek chose to sell the BrazelBerries program to Star Roses and Plants so that Fall Creek could focus on its rapidly growing core business serving commercial fruit growers globally. BrazelBerries had created a large demand for ornamental berry plants when none yet existed, something Daniels credits to Brazelton’s insight and understanding of where the market was heading. The demand has increased so much, however, that the team decided that BrazelBerries would reach its fullest potential under the guidance of someone who has been down the same road with another break out brand.
So it began talking with Star Roses’ Steve Hutton. Star Roses’ breeder, Will Radler, introduced the world to Knock Out Roses, and so the company has the chops to handle a brand that has taken off the way Brazelberries has. And Star Roses’ parent company, Ball, has the experience of marketing Wave Petunias.
“This sale will also allow Fall Creek to focus on the their rapidly growing core business serving commercial fruit growers globally with blueberry genetics and plants,” Daniels says.
“Our team is extremely proud of this consumer brand that we developed and launched to retail garden centers in 2013 through an amazing network of some of the industry’s best nursery growers in the U.S. and Canada. This year marked the launch of BrazelBerries into Europe through zu Jeddeloh Pflanzen in Germany, as well,” Daniel says in the sale’s announcement.
Fall Creek says it will work with Star Roses during the transition months to ensure growers, retailers, and vendors are all given the attention they need. It will also continue to produce and supply BrazelBerries liners on behalf of Star Roses and Plants.
“The BrazelBerries brand has grown tremendously from its inception a few years ago to a top retail berry brand in our industry,” says Steve Hutton, President of Star Roses and Plants. “It is exceptional in every respect, from the genetics to the brand design and execution to the first-rate marketing. We are fortunate to be able to add it to the ranks of our existing leading brands, Knock Out and Drift roses.”