Master Nursery Garden Centers Celebrates 70th Anniversary
Member-owned cooperative Master Nursery Garden Centers (MNGC) is celebrating 70 years as the nation’s largest independent buying group. Along with the growing demand for organic gardening, sales reportedly increased significantly due to growing our membership base, adding new vendors, and expanding distribution coverage.
“Master Nursery did so well in 2020 that over $300,000 in profit sharing was paid out to the membership in January 2021. This is in addition to the $390,000 in rebates that will be paid in May 2021,” said Jeff Lafferty, chief executive officer. “Twenty-nine new MNGC members joined in 2020, resulting in the largest membership net gain in over a decade.”
The cooperative began in 1951, when seven independent garden center owners located in the San Francisco–Oakland Bay area partnered to secure discounts and share marketing expenses. They worked well together, so they found a fertilizer manufacturer to produce a high-quality, organic-based, all-purpose lawn and plant food.
As time went on, more West Coast members joined, and more Master Nursery branded products followed. In late 1993, membership rose to over 160 garden centers. Today, MNGC has nearly 500 independent retail garden centers and 140 premium suppliers that provide Master Nursery members with higher discounts and extended dating on a broad range of products and services.