Welcome Jeremy Friedman to CNGA Board

By Lyn Dean, writer and editor at ALCC and CNGA

Jeremy Friedman

In 2008-09, when the market for new home construction declined rapidly during the Great Recession, Jeremy Friedman had been a general contractor with a luxury homebuilder in Denver. He knew he had to look elsewhere for a new career, and he wanted to run his own business this time. “I got lucky,” he admits. He and his business partner, Jane Akdoruk, purchased Brown’s Greenhouse in Arvada in 2010, and Jeremy became president. In 2022, they decided to rebrand the company to make it their own, and the trade name was changed to Blooma Farms.

Continuous Learning

Jeremy graduated from the University of Kansas with a business degree and worked in a few different industries before his years as a homebuilder. Moving to the green industry was his career shift, and although it was a completely different industry, his brought many transferable skill sets.

“There was definitely a learning curve for me,” says Jeremy. “I took some classes, but a lot of my learning was self-taught both through hands-on experiences and books. And, of course, we are fortunate to have a strong team of horticulturists in our company.”

In 2012, just two years after acquiring the business, Jeremy received a CNGA Horizon award, which recognizes people with less than five years in the industry who have made a significant contribution to a CNGA firm.

Spotting Opportunities

Noting that many garden markets had closed in recent years, Jeremy and his partner opened a new seasonal retail company – Plum Creek Garden Market. The first of these “pop-up” markets – in Castle Rock – debuted in 2014. Since then, Plum Creek Garden Market has expanded to six Front Range locations, open for 10-12-weeks during the spring and early summer.

“We try to create a unique garden market experience at each location that offers the best of what our spring gardeners are looking for,” says Jeremy. “They generally cover about 20,000 square feet each with tents and hoop houses, containing high quality plants for the public.”

Rocky Mountain Liners is Blooma’s newest affiliate company. This wholesale operation was created in 2019. Rocky Mountain Liners offers propagation services to root out young plants and distribute them to small and medium-sized growers. “This is a broker-driven business for the distribution of rooted young plants. We partner with similar quality-minded breeders to put together the best plants for our annual catalog offering,” Jeremy says. “We also collaborate and propagate for the annual bedding plant trials at CSU every year, along with hosting our own annual trial event to help promote great garden plants that work in Colorado.”

CNGA Board of Directors

“I’m excited to be part of the board and to work with, and learn from, other members who are in different parts of the industry,” says Jeremy. Since all parts of the industry are experiencing similar challenges in labor force and supply chain shortages, he hopes innovative thinking among board members and others will help develop some new solutions, and to collaborate on ways all can streamline operations to be more efficient in these challenging times.  He’s also excited to explore finding ways to encourage the next generation to enter the industry.