Our History

Plantpeddler's History

Cresco Greenhouse Established.

On the south edge of town, Cresco’s first greenhouse is built on East side of the Protivin Road. The range consists of a couple of small cypress and glass houses. The main crops are sweet corn, watermelon, and muskmelon.  

Greenhouse Moves to Present Location.

The greenhouse facility is moved by the Marshall family to a new location along recently designated State Highway 9. Crops are primarily flowers and vegetables. Facility consists of 3500 sq. ft.

Kolind’s Family Become Second Owners.

Peter Kolind purchases Cresco Greenhouse. Business becomes a floral shop growing cut flowers, blooming plants, and bedding plants.

Generation Two – The Kubalskys.

Arnie and Pauline Kubalsky become the owners. Pauline is the daughter of Peter Kolind and grew up in the business.

The First Fire.

Cresco Greenhouse is almost lost forever by fire. The Kubalskys reconstruct immediately and build back the business with a quality reputation.

Gooders Launch Plantpeddler – Phase I.

Having met a few years earlier in horticulture classes at Iowa State, Rachel Reicher of Dyersville, IA and Mike Gooder of Cresco, IA graduated from ISU. They marry June 20th and purchase the Cresco Greenhouse (CGH) on June 28th, starting Plantpeddler.  The facility consists of 10,500 sq. ft. of glass

Phase II Begins.

January 1st, Plantpeddler leases and remodels a feed store located near Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.  February 1st, Decorah Plantpeddler (DPP) opens for business as a full service floral and gift store.

First Facility Expansion.

In March, due to an increased demand for products from the two retail locations, Plantpeddler breaks ground on first major expansion.  The new facility features 4- 21′ x 144′ Campbell O’Brien polyethylene covered houses.

Plantpeddler Wholesale Opens.

With area demand, PPW opens in September providing weekly truck service to a regional group of traditional florists.

Phase III Step I Build.

Growth in business requires expansion. Phase III construction of N-5 begins in late February. BioTherm equipped rolling benches are installed in N-3 & N-4.

Phase III Step II Build.

House N-6 is built. Rolling benches and BioTherm heat are installed in houses N-5 & N-6.

Abby Gooder is Born.

On July 30th Abigail Rose Gooder is born. Abby grew up with the business, eventually following her parents to ISU, graduating in Ag Business in 2012.

Cresco Greenhouse & Plantpeddler Anniversary.

Two historic anniversaries occur, 100 years for CGH and 10 years for PP. Pretty amazing considering the odds.

Phase IV Initiated.

In May, a new home for Decorah Plantpeddler is purchased. The building is completely remodeled and opens in July.

John Gooder is Born.

On February 27th John Michael Gooder is born. He is his father’s son. The Q-Range starts with a 16′ x 72′ Agra-Tech Quonset erected to produce perennials. The following year, three more Quonsets are added.

Phase V.

Believing in “bleeding edge” of innovation, in April a state-of-the-art new facility is erected consisting of four Nexus Big Sky 42′ x 144′ tempered glass greenhouses equipped with BioTherm Heating, Q-Com control system, black-out and heat retention curtains, rolling benches, and more. A new office complex, packing, and shipping facility

Vet Property Acquired.

The lot across the street from PPW is purchased and adds 1.8 acres of adjoining property.  The Q-range is moved to this property.

Phase VI Implemented.

PP2000 brings in consultants to analyze Plantpeddler’s three divisions, management, and staff.  Future direction, strategy and a team-based management programs are implemented.

First Robotics at PP.

State-of-the-art Visser PC-9 robotic transplanter is purchased. The robot delivers more uniform planting and takes over an array of planting chores.

Plantpeddler Becomes a G2G Supplier.

Partnering with Dummen of Germany to produce rooted Hiemalis Begonia liners for the North American market, PP becomes a “grower to grower” young plant source.  An Ellegard machine is added to produce the paper pots used to root the Begonia product. The team is trained in Europe.

Dummen USA Relocated to Plantpeddler.

The D-USA offices are relocated to Cresco, Iowa, as Plantpeddler enters joint venture with Dummen Germany and begins administration of D-USA.  A new phase starts with construction of Plantpeddler Young Plants (PPYP), and the facility comes on-line November 15th.

Phase I Step I: Plantpeddler Young Plants Opens.

Plantpeddler hosts the first open house at the new facility; 550 people from eight countries attend.  PPYP is described as truly state of the art, with more “world’s firsts” than any other facility. D-USA offices relocate to PPYP. Over 1.5 million rooted cuttings are shipped the first Spring season.

New Research Gardens Constructed.

To allow for critical evaluation of genetics, trial gardens are constructed, including boulder gardens for “in- ground” trials and four container houses.

Phase I Step II.

Based on strong finished product demand, PP starts construction of Phase I Step II at PPYP. The 100,000 sq. ft. addition is in production for spring of 2005. Plantpeddler separates from Dummen to allow broader representation of breeders.

Build-Up of Divisions.

Plantpeddler distribution and customer alignment increases to include major grocery retail entities as a premier supplier. PPYP division develops rapidly with the addition of key breeders including Selecta, Danziger, Florema, Van Zanten, and others.

Stone Creek Farms Division.

To capitalize on emerging “local foods” trends 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.

Positioning for Growth.

The company restructures for growth by adding CFO Joan Leuenberger to the management team.  Team embarks on an aggressive five-year development plan.

Partnering with Ecke Ranch.

Plantpeddler is selected to develop a Midwest Rooting Station for industry leading genetics Ecke Poinsettias and Oglevee Geraniums.

Partnering with Suntory.

The Japanese breeding company enters into an agreement with Plantpeddler for the development of Begonia Crackling Fire and development of the complete Suntory Collection. Begonia stock plant production is established for specialty and exclusive lines.

Increased Capacity and Products.

Seasonal specialty capacity added at the PPYP facility with an addition of naturally ventilated Quonset space. Development and marketing of Aronia Berry production starts. Partner with Aronia Berry Services for field planting of liners.

New Poinsettia Partner.

Plantpeddler is licensed by Syngenta for Poinsettias, making PP the only company representing every major global breeder in NA.  Tag management and inventory moves in house.

John Gooder Graduates.

Following in his parents’ footsteps, John Gooder graduates from Iowa State in Horticulture and Entrepreneurship. His leadership is leveraged to create an Operations department to complement Sales and Production. Covered area exceeds 400,000 sq. ft. with a core staff of 40, peaking at nearly 100.

Fire Strikes Twice.

On March 10th, the original O-Range catches on fire. Outstanding action by our local Fireman save the facility, resulting in only moderate damage.

Breast Cancer Fundraiser.

Plantpeddler partners with Suntory to create the world’s first Princettia Breast Cancer fundraiser promotion.

Leadership Recognition.

At the AmericanHort Cultivate Event, Mike receives the Horticulture Industries Leadership Award.

Complete SF Line.

Syngenta Flowers Annuals join the Young Plant program. This represents another premium breeding line within the Plantpeddler program. Site development starts for the next phase of growth.

Phase II Step I.

Master plan for this investment begins with site develop including a major expansion and upgrade of the trial area including custom structures and expanded boulder display beds. Addition of Zone 4 container system and mechanization of all A-Track bench transport, lighting and additional booms.

Phase II Step II.

Major expansion includes addition of Zones 7-9 with DeCloet greenhouses, near doubling of the headhouse support facility, upgrade of bench crane, addition of Zone 3 container system and further automation. Mike is elected to the AmericanHort Board of Directors.

More Robots at Work.

ISO robotic sticking comes to Plantpeddler with installation of three units. Dummen Orange Spring Annuals are added to the young plant program.

Continued Investment in Culture.
Continued Investment in Culture.

To ensure the highest quality young plant products, at both locations, the addition and conversion of HPS lighting to LED occurs.  To ensure highest disease protocol, a new water treatment system, including high speed sand filtration and UV treatment is installed at the PPYP site. Also, a 16’ X 372’