Established in 1982, Countryside Greenhouse was originally built as a small wholesale operation. At that time it was just a single hoop style greenhouse. Initially our owners grew just a very basic plant listing of spikes, sprengeri, and vinca vine. However, it was not long before both the plant listing and the facility were growing.
Neighbors began to stop by and inquire about purchashing plants directly from the small farm. This led our owners to establish a small direct market operation to run alongside the wholesale facility, including the first gravel parking lot pictured below.
As the business progressed, Countryside’s ownership continued to upgrade the facility. The first major upgrades were the construction of a larger production greenhouse and a glass covered range (being constructed in the photo below). This range was designed as an ideal environment for propagating plant material, and is still utilized today. Propagating much of our own material is one of the reasons we are able to grow for less and sell such beautiful product at a low price.
The late 1990's were prosperous and Countryside Greenhouse underwent some major growth (construction pictured below). The increased production space allowed for higher volume purchasing of raw materials and helped to drive prices even lower on both ends of the business.
In 2004, our owners faced a tough decision. The business was doing well both in the wholesale division as well as in the direct market division. Pressure was being applied on the wholesale end of the business to begin selling our product on a strictly scan-based system, and our ownership was uncomfortable with some of the risks this created. If we were going to be sending our product out to garden centers and only being paid for it when the final customer bought it, why not just sell it all out of our own front door to the final customer? We decided to focus solely on the direct market side of our greenhouse while still incorporating fundamentals we perfected in our wholesale department.
Countryside Greenhouse took on a huge expansion project in the summer of 2004 and all of our energy became focused on servicing the direct market customer with the highest quality plants at the lowest possible price.
Unfortunately, it took until the following summer to finish the parking lot.
It took several years of focusing our energy on being a direct market before we started to get the hang of things. There have been many challenges with the check out system, the parking structure, balancing our direct market display and production space, and many other aspects of the business.
By 2009 we felt confident that we were starting to get enough of a handle on the business that we decided to demolish our original hoop greenhouse and construct a new gutter connected range in its place.
In 2011 Countryside Greenhouse ownership decided that the limit for what could be done at our Pingree Street location had been reached. Our facility was no longer adequate to meet the needs of our customer base and expansion was needed again. However, there was no more land available upon which to expand the Pingree St. facility.
Ownership decided to once again take on a major expansion project. This one larger than any before. Ownership began the process of building a brand new direct market facility on the much more accessible Lake Michigan Drive and converting the Pingree Street facility into a production facility to grow additional products for the Lake Michigan Drive facility.
This next expansion took two years to complete and the Lake Michigan Drive market facility opened its doors to customers in April of 2013.
The Lake Michigan Drive Market facility featured the widest aisles of any direct market greenhouse. Enough check out counters to ensure speedy service, and a much improved parking lot. It also provided Countryside Greenhouse with enough room to introduce new lines in several departments.
Pictured above you can see that after completing the 2013 Spring season ownership felt it necessary to create an additional gravel overflow parking lot.
In the summer of 2014 Countryside added three more bays of greenhouse to the Lake Michigan Drive facility. This brought the Lake Michigan Drive facility to roughly
8 acres of indoor poly covered spaced and 2 acres of semi-outdoor shade cloth covered space. The additional bays are utilized for production of back up crops for our direct market floor.
The groundwork was also completed that summer for an additional 6 bays to be added later. Groundstakes for this next expansion are being installed during the summer of 2016 in preparation for construction to follow.
Today, between the two production facilities and the Lake Michigan Drive Market facility Countryside Greenhouse has a little over 20 acres of enclosed, poly covered, growing space that we utilize to grow beautiful plants for your homes and gardens.