1880 Cresco Greenhouse was established on the south edge of Cresco on the Protivin Road. The range consisted of a couple of small cypress and glass houses. The main crops were sweet corn, watermelon, and muskmelon.
1928 The greenhouse facility was moved to its present location on Highway 9 by the Marshal family to raise flowers and vegetables. Once moved, the area consisted of approximately 3500 square feet (sq. ft.) of greenhouses.
1934 The Peter Kolind family purchased Cresco Greenhouse. The Kolind's turned the business into a traditional floral shop with fresh flowers, blooming plants, and bedding plants in the Spring. 1954 Arnie and Pauline Kubalsky became the new owners of Cresco Greenhouse. Pauline was the daughter of Peter Kolind and grew up in the business. Arnie's background was in the creamery business, and his mechanical abilities proved to be beneficial.
1962 Cresco Greenhouse was almost lost forever by fire. All of the houses except for House O-2 and the endwall of House O-3 were destroyed. The fire started in the boiler room due to bad wiring. The Kubalsky's reconstructed immediately. Through the years they expanded, and built a business that accompanied a good reputation.
1980 A couple of years earlier, Rachel Reicher of Dyersville, IA and Mike Gooder of Cresco, IA met during horticulture classes at Iowa State University. In '80, both graduated from ISU with degrees in Horticulture. They married June 20th, and purchased the Cresco Greenhouses (CGH) from Arnie and Pauline Kubalsky on June 28th. The facility consisted of 10,500 sq. ft. Lord and Burnham glass houses for production and a retail floral operation. The crop mix was Cut Mums and Carnations grown in benches, Potted Mums, Gloxinias, Begonias, Poinsettias, Easter Lilies, and a full array of Bedding Plants for Spring sales. This was Phase I.
1984 Phase II began. January1st, Plantpeddler leased and remodeled a feed store located near Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. February 1st, Decorah Plantpeddler (DPP) opened for business. Located at 305 College Drive, this second retail location offered a full service floral and gift store. Due to an increased demand for product from the two retail locations, Plantpeddler initiated an expansion with a groundbreaking in March. The new production facility featured 4- 20' x 144' Campbell O'Brien, double polyethylene covered houses with rolling benches in House N1 & N2, BioTherm micro-tube heat on bench and floor (their first cold climate project), Wadsworth environmental controls, and a 40' x 72' headhouse. The facility went into full production in November. Plantpeddler Wholesale (PPW) opened in September providing weekly truck service to a regional group of traditional florists.
1986 Growth in business required expansion. Phase III construction of N-5 began in late February. BioTherm equipped rolling benches were installed in N-3 & N-4.
1988 Plantpeddler Wholesale continued to find market niche opportunity. House N-6 was built. Rolling benches and BioTherm heat were installed in both House N-5 & N-6.
1989 Abigail Rose Gooder was born July 30th. Abby continues to grow with the business.
1991 Phase IV was initiated. In Decorah, across College Drive an exceptional facility became available and allowed ownership control. The new home for DPP was purchased that May. The building was completely remodeled, and moved to 310 College Drive in July.
1992 John Michael Gooder was born February 27th. He is his father's son. The Q-Range was started. A single 16' x 72' Agra-Tech quonset was erected to produce perennials.
1993 The original O-Range was retrofitted with Dyna-Glass corrugated polycarbonate and metal rolling benches. The retail area was remodeled. Three more 16' x 72' quonsets were built to help handle production of seasonal crops. 1995 Phase V began in April. The new facility was state of the art, consisted of four Nexus Big Sky 42' x 144' tempered glass greenhouses equipped with BioTherm Heating, Q-Com computerized environmental control system, Wadsworth black-out and heat retention curtains, and rolling benches. A new office complex and packing and shipping facility were built to improve post-production marketing and handling of products. The staff consisted of 12 full-time, 22 part-time, and 12 seasonal employees.
1996 The "Vet property" (across the street from PPW) was purchased and added 1.8 acres of adjoining property as a future retail site. The Q-range was moved to this property.
1998 Phase VI was implemented. PP2000 brought in consultants to analyze Plantpeddler's three divisions, management, and staff. A team-based management program was implemented so each employee would have a voice in operation and management of Plantpeddler. Every aspect of productivity and human resource growth was addressed. Labor issues were addressed with the purchase of the Bouldin-Lawson planting line equipment, computerization of irrigation, and improved material handling systems.
1999 In a continued effort to improve output without more staff, a Visser PC-9 robotic transplanter was purchased. The robot delivered more uniform planting of plugs and bedding flats, and was flexible enough in design that it could handle a vast array of the planting chores. It was the first PC-9 in North America. Other material handling and irrigation processes were automated. A Nexus 30' x 36' greenhouse was constructed to serve as a garage and shop area. The house was called the G -Range and was Iowa's only three-car greenhouse.
2000 Plantpeddler became a Grower To Grower (G2G) supplier by partnering with Dummen of Germany to produce rooted Hiemalis Begonia liners for the North American Market. The Elleegard machine was added to produce the paper pots that were used to root the Begonia product. One million Begonias were rooted and shipped throughout North America. 2001 The Dummen USA (D-USA) offices were relocated to Cresco, Iowa as Plantpeddler entered joint venture with Dummen Germany and began administration of D-USA. Construction of Plantpeddler Young Plants (PPYP) started and the facility came on-line November 15th. Development and implementation of the QUIX program was initiated. PPYP was described as truly state of the art, with more "world's firsts" than any other facility.
2002 Plantpeddler D-USA hosted the first open house at the new facility, 550 people from eight countries attended. D-USA offices were re-located to PPYP. Over 1.5 million Spring cuttings were shipped in the QUIX system without any shipping claims reported. Begonia propagation switched to QUIX 13 based on success. Plantpeddler D-USA staff attended the Ohio Short Course and created lasting impressions on major brokers.
2003 The commitment to develop, market and grow only the best genetics drives the "trials" efforts at Plantpeddler. New research gardens are constructed that allow for critical evaluation of genetics. Included are bolder gardens for "in- ground" trials and four container houses. Between all genetic lines over 2000 varieties of indoor and outdoor genetics in a multitude of crops are evaluated.
2004 Producing higher quality outdoor products drives the construction of a new "open-air" production area. Along with other crops, the area produces an exceptional crop of 37,000 Garden Mums. As the calendar heads to Fall, based on strong finished product demand, PP starts on construction of Phase I Step II at PPYP. Plans call for a 100,000 sq. ft. addition for completion Winter of 2005.
2006 Plantpeddler distribution and customer alignment has increased to include major retail entities. We have become a premier supplier for the Dominic’s/Safeway serving the greater Chicagoland area, supplier for Jewel/Osco, and HyVee. We have expanded our finished customer base to include greenhouses in Texas, Colorado and the East Coast.
2007 Plantpeddler enters into another facet of young plant production. We have entered into an agreement with Syngenta, a world leader in Horticultural genetics, to become the rooting station for their “A Cut Above” program for the Midwest region.
2008 To capitalize on emerging “local foods” trend and to diversify product line, the Stone Creek Farm (SCF) division is created. A full line of A-Z fruits and vegetables are produced and marketed. Company receives national recognition.
2009 The company restructures for growth adding CFO Joan Leuenberger to management team. Team embarks on an aggressive five year development plan.
2010 Ecke Ranch (CA) partners with Plantpeddler to develop Midwest Rooting Station for industry leading genetics Ecke Poinsettias and Oglevee Geraniums.
2011 Suntory (Japan) enters into agreement with Plantpeddler for development of Begonia Crackling Fire and market development of the complete Suntory Collection. Begonia stock plant production established for specialty and exclusive lines.
2012 Seasonal specialty capacity added at the PPYP facility with the addition of naturally ventilated quonset space. Development of Aronia production and marketing starts. Partner with Aronia Berry Services for field planting of liners. Negotiate exclusive NA representation of Rieger Begonias (Germany).
2013 Plantpeddler is licensed by Syngenta for Poinsettias, making us the only company representing every major global breeder in NA. Tag management and inventory move in house improving customer satisfaction and reducing costs.
2014 Following in his parents footsteps, John Gooder graduates for Iowa State in Horticulture and Entrepreneurship. His leadership will be leveraged to create an Operations department to compliment Sales and Production. Covered area exceeds 400,000 sq. ft. with a core staff of 40, peaking at nearly 100.