Aug 18, 2023
Cottage Gardens Celebrates 100 Years, 4 Generations

Since its founding in 1923, The Cottage Gardens, Inc. has been family owned. With management from the fourth generation, it currently operates as a wholesale grower of shrubs, trees and roses serving the upper Midwest. According to Business Week, “…only 3% of all family businesses operate into the fourth generation or beyond.” Even fewer are around for 100 years. The Cottage Gardens paid tribute to this milestone during an anniversary celebration at the Perry, OH, location on July 19, 2023.

Current and past employees, as well as many family members, gathered for an afternoon of food, companionship and celebration. A commemorative 100th Anniversary logo was unveiled and a video honoring the various achievements over the last century was broadcast.

The Cottage Gardens’ core values are integral to its success over the past 100 years and through four generations. With founder Nick Kriek’s philosophy that quality and customer service are at the forefront of everything we do, Cottage Gardens’ tradition of quality has been preserved for 100 years.

 Historical Milestones 

1923     Founded when Nick Kriek left his sales job with a Holland tulip grower to pursue his dream of running a nursery & landscape business. He started with a small 20-acre farm in Lansing, MI.

1940s    Wilma Hicks, Nick’s daughter, and husband Harold Hicks joined the business and brought a volume-centered approach, increasing sales through brokering.

1950s    The Cottage Gardens, Inc. developed “Crimson Pygmy” the new sensational dwarf red barberry and Juniper “Spartan” named after the Michigan State Spartans.

1966     The Cottage Gardens, Inc. Perry, Ohio location was purchased.

1967     Construction of the Lansing Bypass (I-496) forced Cottage Gardens Lansing to move from its original location on St. Joseph Street to its current location on S. Waverly Hwy.

1970     Harold and Wilma’s son Bill Hicks joined the business. Under Bill’s supervision The Cottage Gardens, Inc. began growing most of the material it sold.

1980s    Production shifted from field to container growing, allowing the flexibility to ship year-round.

1990s    Plant production increased from less than 100,000 per year to 1 million.

2000s    Bill’s sons Nate and Will Hicks are the fourth generation to join the business and continue to grow and develop The Cottage Gardens, Inc. with the same spirit and passion as their father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

2015     A 34-acre facility in Stuart, FL was purchased. Situated on the Atlantic coast of South Florida, it’s an ideal growing environment for Roses, Hydrangea, Buddleia, and Ornamental Grasses.

2018     A 300-acre facility in Smithville, TN was purchased to increase the production of container-grown trees, small fruits, Arborvitae and assorted shrubs.

2023     100th Anniversary.

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