Euro, Homestead Develop Program
EuroAmerican Propagators LLC, Bonsall, Calif., and Homestead Growers, Davidsonville, Md., recently announced a new partnership to build the independent retailer channels. The new venture, Independent Advantage, brings together two well-known companies in an effort to create exclusive product selections and marketing programs for independent retail garden centers.
Through their affiliated plant licensing company, Amerinova Properties, John Rader and Jerry Church, owners of EuroAmerican, are bringing their expertise in new plant finding, introduction and marketing to Independent Advantage. Don Riddle, owner of Homestead Growers, brings years of understanding and devotion to the independent garden center channel as well as many years of plant production success. Combined with the stock-plant management and professional propagation abilities of EuroAmerican Propagators, a business triangle has been formed.
In a conversation with GPN about the new partnership Rader said: “There are a lot of genetics that we have through Amerinova, and not all of them find their home in Proven Winners. To be able to give the breeders that we work with the best chance for their genetics, we have other relationships that we build for licensing purposes, so that if a plant doesn’t become a Proven Winner, it can go somewhere else,” Rader said. “Amerinova’s affiliation with Proven Winners draws a lot of breeders to Amerinova to bring plant varieties to the market. But we like to let the breeders know that there are other options for their breeding material if it doesn’t work out for Proven Winners.”
The most notable initial programs the partnership will be working on are the John Greenlee Grass Collection and Savvy Succulents. A line of exclusive genetics from Amerinova is also being licensed to Homestead Growers to propagate and distribute exclusively to their independent customers.
“John and I share this common goal,” added Riddle. “In a time when the garden center customer’s needs are changing, it is critical that independent garden centers adjust. These changes are creating new opportunities to sell our products in new ways. That is what Independent Advantage is all about.”
GPN asked Rader about the possibility of developing this program into an independent branding program. He said, “My plan is no [not to do a branding program] because Independent Advantage isn’t really a name in my opinion for the consumer, it’s just something that identifies our alliance to work together to build the independent channel. It’s really sort of an industry name, not really a brand in the sense that we would advertise this nationally to the consumers. It’s really an identifier for what our effort is in building the independent channel.”
“When John Rader and I started talking about all the opportunities with plants and branding during the Eastern Performance Trials this past fall, I got really excited about what EuroAmerican has been doing with Savvy Succulents and the John Greenlee Collection, and I wanted to be a part of expanding those programs on the East Coast. I think that both these programs are an especially good opportunity for the independent garden centers in our region. Plants that are easy to grow and maintain and that are water-wise are becoming more popular, and I think that these two programs really deliver benefits to the garden center as well as the gardener,” Don Riddle added.
Rader also wanted to make sure people understand the new partnership. “The biggest thing I would like people to understand is that this is a supplement to Proven Winners, not a Proven Winners program. But it is only separate in the sense that it’s to enhance and accent the Proven Winners effort. It’s not competing with Proven Winners, it’s a vehicle to compliment the effort I’m making with Proven Winners.”
Homestead will be working with Euro and Amerinova to customize programs for growers and garden centers mainly in the Mid-Atlantic Region initially. “We hope to expand Independent Advantage nationwide in the coming years,” states Rader. The first products will be available beginning summer 2006.