Gro-Rite Greenhouse and Garden Center

City: Lincoln Park, N.J.

Owners: David and Gerda Vande Vrede

Website: www.grorite.com

Size: Retail - 12 acres, Growing–9 acres, Other–2 acres (stone products, sheds, swingsets, and bulk mulch)

Years In Business: 37

Number Of Locations: 2

What changes have you made in the last 12 months to increase your garden center’s profitability? We evaulate our credit cards fees every year. We usse our POS system to track slow moving and low profit items. For labor management, we installed a system to limit overtime and help managers to keep track of employee hours.

What sustainable practices do you use in your operation? We are working on solar energy. This will take the place of both our electric and natural gas energy. We should be online in 2010.

What makes your garden center Revolutionary? As one of the garden centers in New Jersey, Gro-Rite strives to be a revolutionary garden center in all aspects of the business.

At Gro-Rite we are always coming up with new and exciting marketing ideas and rewards for our customers, by sending out email newsletters, email blasts and birthday coupons. Gro-Rite offers a rewards program, where the customer can earn rewards from every purchase that they make. Our website is user friendly, with weekly ad updates and in store specials. TV monitors will be installed this month in our store, showing our garden specials and upcoming events along with showcasing any new items.

Along with our marketing we value our customers in-store experience by offering personal assistance through out our store, greenhouse and nursery. Our designers are readily available for any landscape designing that a homeowner may need help with. Our knowledgeable staff guides the customers through out the nursery and perennial yard when designing their gardens. We value each customer’s time and ease their shopping experience as much as possible by loading up their vehicles with their purchases at the completion of their visit. In the peak of the season in May, we have 5-10 employees just in our loading zone area, assisting customers, loading up their cars with bagged goods and offering logo plastic for their vehicles.

In keeping the green in our Garden Center, we recycle customer’s plastic pots. Along with that, we are in the process of installing solar panels for our electric and gas energy for our greenhouse growing and in the process of becoming USDA organically approved for herb and vegetable growing.

Gro-Rite is adding a landscape & property maintenance division. Our customers are always asking for us to install plants and for assisting in maintaining their yards. We are listening to our customer’s requests and hoping this division will benefit our customers even more.

During the holiday season we donate pink poinsettias around the holidays to two large cancer hospitals in North Jersey. We deliver them to the hospitals and also to some senior centers, allowing lots of patients and seniors to enjoy some holiday cheer.

All our annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs are produced by our own growing facility and by doing this we are able to pass along valuable savings to all our customers.

As a family owned and operated facility for 38 years, the second generations of five family members are making the necessary changes to remain on the cutting edge, to be successful in the new marketplace of the 21st century.

Leave a Reply

More From ...
2016 SHSG covers.indd

July 31, 2015

SHS Griffin Releases 2016 Catalog In Print And Expanded Digital Formats

SHS Griffin has announced the release of its annual seed and plant catalog for the 2015-16 season. Available in both print and digital formats, the 2016 catalog features more than 400 new and improved varieties from the industry’s leading breeders. The 262-page print catalog covers the company’s full seed portfolio — more than 3,400 cultivars of annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, herbs and vegetables. From the SHS Griffin vegetative offering, the complete spring-annual assortment from Syngenta Flowers is featured, alongside new introductions and top sellers from nine top suppliers such as Proven Winners, Dümmen Orange and Suntory. More than 120 vegetative perennials from Syngenta Flowers are also included, including several SHS Griffin exclusives. The SHS Griffin 2016 digital catalog includes all of the product information and photography from the print edition, and more. For the first time, SHS Griffin has added a range of digital-only bonus content: detailed crop culture, quick […]

Read More
Marvel Mahonia (Plant Development Services)

July 31, 2015

Retailers’ Choice Awards For Best New Products Presented At SNA 2015

A team of independent garden center retailers, along with the Garden Center Group’s Sid Raisch, walked the SNA show floor in search of their favorite new products.

Read More
Steve Bailey

July 30, 2015

How To Determine A Gross Margin Percentage Goal At Your Store [Talkin’ Finance With Steve Bailey]

One retailer asked this question: Is there a gross margin percentage that is considered a good goal for garden centers and their various product lines? Check out financial consultant Steve Bailey's advice.

Read More
Latest Stories
2016 SHSG covers.indd

July 31, 2015

SHS Griffin Releases 2016 Catalog In Print And Expanded…

SHS Griffin has announced the release of its annual seed and plant catalog for the 2015-16 season. Available in both print and digital formats, the 2016 catalog features more than 400 new and improved varieties from the industry’s leading breeders. The 262-page print catalog covers the company’s full seed portfolio — more than 3,400 cultivars of annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, herbs and vegetables. From the SHS Griffin vegetative offering, the complete spring-annual assortment from Syngenta Flowers is featured, alongside new introductions and top sellers from nine top suppliers such as Proven Winners, Dümmen Orange and Suntory. More than 120 vegetative perennials from Syngenta Flowers are also included, including several SHS Griffin exclusives. The SHS Griffin 2016 digital catalog includes all of the product information and photography from the print edition, and more. For the first time, SHS Griffin has added a range of digital-only bonus content: detailed crop culture, quick […]

Read More
Marvel Mahonia (Plant Development Services)

July 31, 2015

Retailers’ Choice Awards For Best New Products Presente…

A team of independent garden center retailers, along with the Garden Center Group’s Sid Raisch, walked the SNA show floor in search of their favorite new products.

Read More
Steve Bailey

July 30, 2015

How To Determine A Gross Margin Percentage Goal At Your…

One retailer asked this question: Is there a gross margin percentage that is considered a good goal for garden centers and their various product lines? Check out financial consultant Steve Bailey's advice.

Read More
Chuck Hoover, Tagawa Gardens

July 29, 2015

Give Your Young Employees A Personal Stake In Your Comp…

One retailer asked the following question: What are the best techniques for recruiting new staff members to replace those who are due to retire in the next couple years?

Read More
Petunia ‘Trilogy Red’ (American Takii)

July 29, 2015

Catch Your Customers’ Eyes With These Sun-Loving …

Now is the time to start planning for which annuals will be on display at your garden center in 2016. Check out this slideshow of breeders’ picks for their favorite new sun-loving annuals for the garden retail market in the coming year.

Read More

July 29, 2015

Digital Technology Helps Crack The Millennial Code [Sta…

With a well-trained and knowledgeable staff, Kurt Fromherz says you can forge a deeper connection with your customers and with your community.

Read More
Bauman Farms

July 28, 2015

Local Garden Centers To Visit During Farwest 2015

While you’re in Portland for the Farwest show, set aside some time to pay a visit to these local independent garden centers and check out some of the innovative things they’re doing.

Read More
Farwest Seminars

July 28, 2015

What’s New And What To Do At Farwest 2015

Are you planning to attend the 2015 Farwest show? Here's a list of things to do, including new activities, at the event, which take place Aug. 27-29 in Portland, Ore.

Read More
Bob Peters featured image

July 28, 2015

J.R. Peters’ Founder Dies At 97

Robert "Bob" Peters founded the garden fertilizer company that became JR Peters and has been an active supporter of the greenhouse and garden center industries since World War II.

Read More
IGC Show App

July 27, 2015

Want A Guide To This Year’s IGC Shows? There̵…

IGC Show organizers have launched new free apps for IGC East and IGC Chicago, available for download in the Apple App Store and on Google Play, that offer information on conference sessions and special events.

Read More
Impatiens Lollipop Series (Ernst Benary Of America)

July 27, 2015

18 New Annuals That Are Great For Either Sun Or Shade […

Now is the time to start planning for which annuals will be on display at your garden center in 2016. Check out this slideshow of breeders’ picks for their favorite new sun and shade varieties for the garden retail market in the coming year.  

Read More
Ingenico EMV

July 27, 2015

Why PCI And EMV Compliance May Not Be Enough For Retail…

A report from the National Retail Federation indicates that while companies are becoming more compliant with PCI standards, it may not be enough to protect them from fraud. Note: Thanks for Epicor for sponsoring this EMV story.

Read More
Ian Baldwin

July 27, 2015

Ian Baldwin: Validating Customer Complaints Can Pay Div…

In his latest blog posting, Ian Baldwin says when you deal with customer concerns in an empathetic fashion, you’re more likely to earn repeat business and future sales.

Read More
Farwest Nursery Tour

July 24, 2015

Farwest 2015 Show Promises To Be Far From Ordinary

Farwest, which takes place Aug. 27-29 in Portland, Ore., is the show to discover new nursery and retail-focused products, equipment and services, find new, popular plant varieties, and network with thousands of top industry professionals.

Read More

July 23, 2015

Lakeview Nurseries’ Michelle Harvey Appointed To Massac…

Following a passion for government policy, Harvey says she’s excited to be able to educate elected officials about issues important to the horticulture industry.

Read More

July 22, 2015

Economic Growth Will Fuel Garden Demand [2015 State Of …

As the housing industry continues to rebound and the economy improves, economist Charlie Hall says consumers will unleash pent-up demand, which means good news for garden retailers.

Read More

July 22, 2015

Local Garden Centers To Visit During The Nursery/Landsc…

While you’re in Dallas for the Nursery/Landscape EXPO, set aside some time to pay a visit to these local independent garden centers and check out some of the innovative things they’re doing.

Read More
Texas NLA Trade Show Floor

July 21, 2015

What To Do And What’s New At the Nursery/Landscap…

Are you planning to attend the 2015 Nursery/Landscape EXPO? If so, here’s a list of things to do, including new activities, at the event, which take place Aug. 13-15 in Dallas.

Read More