The parking lot was packed at Kopke’s Greenhouse in Oregon, Wisconsin. “This ain’t nothin,” an employee laughingly remarked as a customer said they had to park in the field out back after the paved lot filled up. With Mother’s Day around the corner, an overflowing parking lot is the norm at Kopke’s and other greenhouses around the country.
“Right now we’re seeing two or three hundred people coming through here every day…that number is going to triple or quadruple by Friday and Saturday,” Josh Smith, co-owner of Kopke’s says. “It gets insane around here,” he adds with a smile. One thing’s for sure, though- this family greenhouse has plenty of space to accommodate the large amount of people scrambling to find that perfect bloom for the upcoming Sunday holiday. “We have 28 buildings here,” Smith explains. “Each one is over 100 feet long and 30 feet wide…we pack every square inch we can with the plants that we grow here.”
As for just how many of the plants for sale are grown on Kopke’s sprawling oasis? Close to 90% of the plants sold are grown in-house, Smith proudly states. In doing so, the greenhouse has more control over the quality of the plants sold. But, this is only made possible due to the passionate staff that Kopke’s calls family. “We are very lucky to have such a dedicated staff to help us do all of this because it’s very complex,” Smith explains. As the Mother’s Day crowd continues to flow in and look around, it’s very easy to see just how dedicated the people of this local greenhouse really are; helping customers answer every question they have.
As for the most popular type of plant being sold as Mother’s Day gifts- that’s an easy question for Smith to answer. “From a gift perspective it’s hanging baskets,” he says. How could they not be? Everywhere you look there was a big beautiful hanging basket right in your face. Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 12th and with only a few days left don’t hesitate to go grab a beautiful bunch of flowers and support local agriculture in the process.
To hear the interview with Josh Smith of Kopke’s Greenhouse click the link below: