5 Minutes With … Bob Berbee
Could you share a little about your background?
I was born in the Netherlands and moved to the U.S. as a baby. My first job was counting flower bulbs in our wholesale warehouse (Leo Berbee Bulb Co.) for my dad — I guess that’s where it all began. I studied at Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute
in Wooster, Ohio, and opened Dutch Mill Greenhouse in 2002. I am third-generation in our family business.
You opened an IGC at the age of 21 — what advice would you give your 21-year-old self, knowing what you know now?
This is only the beginning — be open to change. Don’t just sell the items/plants you like — be willing to learn from your customer.
What do you love about your job?
Not every day is the same, it changes every day if not every hour.
What keeps you up at night?
Besides our kids, the weather. Our industry is so driven by weather that one cold night or rainy Mother’s Day could change the whole season.
If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?
Dream: Professional golfer. Reality: An accountant or anything with numbers.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like staying active, exercising, golfing, boating, spending time with my family — I have three kids, ages 7, 4 and 1.
Favorite plant to grow? Why?
I love growing dahlias in the summer and amaryllis in the winter. I enjoy having color in bloom year-round.