Did you notice the folks at the top of the nhsbdc.org home page? They are Peter and Leslie van Berkum, owners of Van Berkum Nursery, a 23-year-old family-run wholesale business. Van Berkum Nursery is a leader in the New England wholesale nursery industry. From time to time we'll be highlighting small business clients in this space on our web site.
Van Berkum Nursery grows over 800 varieties of perennials: natives, shade plants, plants for groundcover and meadows, as well as hard-to-find varieties.
The Van Berkums write:
"We are located in a park-like setting in Deerfield and sell to garden centers and landscapers throughout New England. We have worked very hard over the years to maintain the family feel of the nursery, and pride ourselves on our many long term employees.
Through the years, the SBDC has helped us build strong management practices with the result that we now operate more efficiently and have increased our sales volume. The SBDC has also helped us secure UNH interns to design and implement a social media strategy. In July 2008, a tornado ripped through our nursery, devastating our plants and gardens. We particularly appreciated the assistance that the SBDC business advisor provided our company at that time. He helped us rebuild our company by working with insurance companies to make sure our claims were processed and linked us to critical resources.
Van Berkum Nursery today employs 8 people year-round and 20 additional people during the spring and summer months. We feel fortunate to have some of the best horticulturists in the area working for us. We produce about 500,000 plants a year and maintain 9,000 square feet of display gardens, which even in the wholesale business, we feel is a valuable tool for education of both our customers and ourselves."