Heartland Growers has existed for more than 40 years. They say that, since the very beginning, they’ve made their name in annuals production by providing the Midwest with quality colors in the spring.
The Westfield, Indiana, grower is the largest in the area, and they turn to Plantpeddler for quality and consistency in their begonias.
Heartland has purchased begonias from Plantpeddler for about two years now, Nick Gapinski, CEO at Heartland Growers, says. “We were buying unrooted cuttings from various suppliers and struggling with consistent quality,” he says. “We also had a hard time with consistent rooting, thus making the crop a real challenge. We were looking for a more simple and efficient solution.”
Gapinski emphasizes the quality and consistency of Plantpeddler’s begonias, and the supplier’s reputation drew him to growing their product.
“Their customer service and delivery were exactly what we needed to fix our problem,” he says. “Producing a good crop starts with a good, consistent, clean, quality liner. Plantpeddler fills that need for us when it comes to begonia liners.”Gapinski says Plantpeddler’s Solenia series is his preferred series because of the colors and performance.
“Right now, the Solenia series is probably my favorite,” he says. “[The series has a] good assortment of colors, good vigor for most containers, [is] easy to grow, [has] good garden performance, good resistance to mildew and [they] can tolerate some cool temperatures when spring temperatures can vary outside.”
Since switching to Plantpeddler’s begonias, Gapinski says Heartland’s profit numbers have grown “exponentially” thanks to shorter crop times and cutting down shrink. “Our numbers have grown [approximately] 30 percent in the last two years on this category,” he says. “We are anticipating more growth this year.”
“Our crop time is shorter. We can plant everything at one time instead of over several weeks. Our shrink has been cut down significantly,” he says. “Every plant is sellable — if we do our job, there is very little shrink. Its starts with a quality liner.”
As for Plantpeddler’s customer service, Gapinski says, “The customer service is second to none.” He explains his appreciation for their honesty and punctuality when doing business, as well as their follow-through.
“They communicate when there are issues, they are honest and upfront with you. When they say they will be at the facility at a certain time, they show up at that time. They are extremely consistent,” Gapinski says. “If they have an issue or are concerned about quality, timing, et cetera, they call ahead of time and we work out a solution. There are no surprises. They do what they say they are going to do and that’s grow and deliver a good, clean liner.” — Samantha Cottrill