How did you get involved with Landon’s?
Sheridan is my hometown and after high school I moved to Oregon. There I began working for Oregon Pride Nurseries and loved working in the wholesale nursery business. One of our customers was Landon’s Greenhouse & Nursery. After about 12 years with Oregon Pride, Landon’s had an opportunity for a new owner to buy in and they offered me the opportunity. Since my wife and I both loved the nursery business and working with plants, we said yes and moved back to Sheridan in 2012.
What’s changing at your facilities?
The biggest change is moving our production facility where we grow all of our bedding and vegetable plants to our retail location. That will greatly increase our operational efficiency, which is important when you grow as many plants as possible for your retail operation. We will have just under 30,000 square feet of growing space in heated hoop houses where we grow approximately 60% to 70% of our annuals for the year, including over 70,000 petunias, 34 varieties of tomatoes, and 10,000 perennials.
What sets your company apart from other competitors?
Although Sheridan is a small town of about 18,000 people, we have plenty of competition from Home Depot, Walmart, grocery stores, hardware stores, and even the local tractor store. But, we stand out in a couple of ways. First, we offer only the highest quality plant material and products. Growing many of the plants we sell gives us a quality advantage. Next, we offer personal and knowledgeable customer service that exceeds any provided by our competitors. As a result, we’ve built solid relationships with our customers, which they truly appreciate. They often remind us of that when we see them out in the community, which happens often in our small town. Finally, our diverse range of high-quality plants, products and services helps us meet the many needs of our customers, from customized planters for businesses to landscape design and water features.
What trends are influencing your business?
The most notable change we’ve seen, especially in the last two years, is the dramatic increase in phone calls and emails. People are contacting us in far greater numbers to check on prices, availability of plants and products, and to ask us what’s wrong with their plants, even if they were purchased somewhere else. This trend has forced us to add more staff resources to respond to all of these inquiries. Despite this added administrative cost, we feel it ultimately helps our sales and keeps our competitive advantage. We’re sharing valuable knowledge from certified staff, which our customers won’t receive from our competitors.
What new things are you doing for your customers?
We’ve really expanded our workshops and education. Our goal is to provide useful education to our customers so they can become better gardeners. We’re also offering a much wider selection of hard goods and merchandise, from pottery and chairs to statuary and wind chimes.
What do you value most from your membership?
We love the learning resources provided by CNGA, especially the certification programs and ProGreen. Besides learning new things each year, we also value the many networking opportunities. You can learn a lot just by talking to a fellow member.