Ooltewah Nursery and Landscape Company joined the ranks of the horticulture industry’s top independent garden centers when it was named the Southeastern regional winner of the Today’s Garden Center’s Revolutionary 100, placing it in the top five garden centers in the nation.
The Revolutionary 100 program, now in its eighth year, surveys garden center owners and managers and culminates a list of the 100 most revolutionary garden centers in the nation. It is open to all independent garden centers, large and small, and is based on leadership and innovation.
Garden center owners and managers across the United States fill out an extensive online questionnaire covering topics such as customer and community service, management philosophy, marketing, use of technology, purchasing and profitability. The entrants are ranked according to a point system, and the 100 top entries make the list of the “Revolutionary 100.” Out of those 100, the best garden center in each of five geographic regions is named the regional winner.
“We are deeply honored to be named the best garden center in the southeast, and one of the top five in the country. We have made major changes at ONLC since 2010, and we are delighted that our hard work has received national attention,” said Greg Miller, general manager.
Ooltewah Nursery & Landscape Company was founded in 1989 by life-long Ooltewah residents, Wendell and Gina Whitener. ONLC is located on 16 acres in the heart of Ooltewah. In 2010, the company began a process of remaking itself to better meet the needs of the Ooltewah-Collegedale community.
“We have always held that our purpose as a family-owned business is to serve the lawn & gardening needs of our community. Our community has changed a great deal in recent years, and we had to change, too,” said Gina Whitener, founder and vice-president.
The entire layout of the retail space has been redesigned with the customer in mind. The flower showcase area was expanded approximately 3,000 square feet by the addition of a new outdoor flower pavilion and educational seminars and hands-on workshops are now offered.
“The garden centers that made this year’s list are an exceptional group of forward-thinking independent retailers who thrived during a tough economy, which helps their community,” said Today’s Garden Center editor, Carol Miller. “We are proud to call them revolutionary.”
The 2013 Revolutionary 100 Awards program is sponsored by one of the industry’s premier plant suppliers, Suntory Flowers. More information on the Revolutionary 100, including the complete listing, can be found in the January issue of Today’s Garden Center magazine and at www.Revolutionary100.com.