May 7, 2018
Bower & Branch Adds First West Coast Grower, Woodburn Nursery

Woodburn​ Nursery of Woodburn, Oregon, has joined the Bower & Branch grower network​. ​Woodburn Nursery becomes the group​’s​ first west coast member, as well as a significant investor in the business. Tom Fessler, ​Woodburn president, will serve on the Bower & Branch board of directors.

“Tom has insight and wisdom that will benefit our future development,” said Sid Raisch, president and CEO of Bower & Branch, “And Woodburn Nursery is synonymous with consistent quality and integrity. ​We are proud to add them to our network of family growers.”

This development means that Bower & Branch now has Member Growers headquartered in the Midwest, as well as on both coasts, giving the group the ability to efficiently ship quality plants to consumers nationwide.

Woodburn Nursery president, Tom Fessler sees the potential for everyone involved.​ “I have seen a lot of changes in the nursery industry since we started in 1968,​” said Fessler.​ ​”​Marketplace shifts happen once in a decade, and they force growers to change their practices. But we haven’t seen a true innovative business model shift like Bower & Branch until now.

“In the past, growers increased production by containerizing plants and using the pot-in-pot method to give them the ability to ship to other markets. But the business model was the same​ — ​cash and carry to consumers through the lens of a retail buyer. This is vastly different from the consumer-driven approach of Bower & Branch.”

Fessler knew it was time to take a step in ​the​ right direction. “My brother and I are in our mid-50s and our main concern is the third generation, our sons and nephews, who will face a far different future in horticulture. They need to understand plant-handling automation, the impact of changing weather, how to create an alternative to commoditization, pricing pressure, a go-to market strategy, labor-shortages and the expense of connecting with an ever-changing home consumer,​” added Fessler. “When we looked at it that way, it was clear that the right decision was the one where we partnered with Bower & Branch.”

New product additions from Woodburn Nursery will be revealed to Bower & Branch members at its annual member meeting during Cultivate, July 14, 2018.

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