When our customers are successful in their greenhouse operations, we know we did our job. Here are stories from some of our many satisfied customers.
The Garden Factory
"Ever since we've been building new, it's been nothing but GGS, that's all we put up. If you look over to this area over here that's our retail model—90 thousand square feet of indoor shopping. The first bay is a glass house—again, all GGS. It's a beautiful 36 foot wide-span house. We love 'em."
The Garden Factory, a large retail garden center operation in Rochester New York, discusses why they built GGS Gutter Connected Poly Greenhouse & Curved Glass Greenhouse, and what makes GGS structures better than the competition.
As you can see, our operation, we're 35 acres. We're a retail growing facility; we grow everything for ourselves. In the background you can see our growing facility which is about 5 acres. All the newer greenhouses are all GGS.
My parents purchased the operation in 1974. It was originally just 5 acres; it was small. They started building it over the years and in 1982 my father decided, let's start growing our own product, so that's when we put up our first 20 houses which were ground to ground houses. Then we added the following year another 8, and then, the following year, another 6. And that was the original head house with 12 houses on each side, or whatever it was- 11 houses on each side. And we started to out-grow that and we started adding gutter-connect houses over to the right. And again we ran out of room again and we decided it was time to put up more gutter-connect houses. The reason we put our first gutter connect up, we do live in Rochester New York—we get a lot of snow.
About 6 of our quonset houses came down in a major snow storm; it was the year the store came down. The store came down in the January storm, the greenhouses out back came down in the March storm. We felt it wasn't worth replacing them with quonset houses. That's when we built our first GGS gutter-connect out back. Ever since we've been building new, it's been nothing but GGS, that's all we put up.
We love 'em. You know we started building with GGS and we never switched. The price is good, the quality is good, stuff arrives, things are drilled out. They have a standard house but they will customize for you. I mean they will do things: extra heavy trusses, L trusses... Again, you can see my houses in the back and the vents open almost past the peak, which I feel gives you better ventilation. If you can get the vent open like that, I feel like it gives you better ventilation.
We pride ourselves in selling everything from A-Z. If you can't find it here, it probably isn't available. I do all the growing. I think the product that we produce is very high quality. Again, the place is so big we park 500 cars, people know they can get in here. We run 16 registers, they know they can get out. And again, if a person wants 100 geraniums they can come here and get 100 geraniums that are all the same instead of going to 5 Home Depots and getting 20 from each one. So they know they can get quality here. Nursery stock—we're very large. They can get it here.
"We went from 27 thousand square feet to a little over 325 thousand square feet now, they're all GGS greenhouses. We're really happy with GGS—I wouldn't go anywhere else, I do believe they are the strongest structure out there"
The owner of Witzke's Greenhouses, a wholesale and retail greenhouse operation in Ontario Canada, talks about how his business started and why he'll never switch from GGS Structures.
Witzke's Greenhouses started about 42 years ago and it was a hobby – my mom's hobby. And it was just to make extra money to put food on the table and to buy some clothes for us. And when I finished school my parents couldn't afford to have me work full time so I ended up getting a job somewhere else and I worked there for 12 years. 18 years ago I came back into the business full time.
We went from 27 thousand square feet to a little over 325 thousand square feet now, they're all GGS greenhouses. We're really happy with GGS—I wouldn't go anywhere else, I do believe they are the strongest structure out there and if I didn't care for them I wouldn't buy anything and the service is great.
We deal in about 5 different chain stores and we have our own retail store that does quite well. Quality: we don't have a sales man, all our sales are done through the phone and everything and our biggest sales person is the name of our racks. Everybody that takes a look at our stuff says "oh where'd that stuff come from" "Witzke's greenhouses" and people end up buying from us.
We put out, we believe, we put out one of the best products out there and we haven't even looked for customers in 5 or 6 years. It's just that our product speaks for itself and the people that we normally deal with, their sales just keep going up and up and up. So every time we add on greenhouses it isn't for anyone new, it's just for the people that we sell to.
I have a 15 year old daughter, she really likes cut flowers so I told her: “You know what sweetheart? maybe you can do that one day and have that up at retail, but it'd be nice if you took over the wholesale too." You know it can be a hectic living, but you know, it has it's rewards too. It's nice when you see the place full, but I really love it when it's empty!
Sweet Valley Herbs
"One really important feature that I really like about the GGS structure is the ease of installation. You know, the way things fit together and the way one piece works with another piece...and the strength of the structure is designed for our climate"
Sweet Valley Herbs, an herb growing operation in New Brunswick, discusses starting a greenhouse business and why they chose Freestanding Greenhouses and Gutter Connected Poly Greenhouses.
In like 1995 we started our company and Aaron was a chef at that time. And we actually started by just having a little herb garden out back and a little greenhouse which actually was a GGS greenhouse. And started with fresh cut herbs because he was working at the time because he was a chef. And he would bring in a few herbs, he would bring in herbs to the restaurant and sell them fresh cut. And that was our main focus of the company was fresh cut herbs. So we did that for a few years and then we took a small business course, like a night course.
We really started our business in 1997, you know, really started it, like actually calling it a name and it wasn't it a hobby anymore it was a business, but Aaron was still working. By 2005 we put up the bigger greenhouse. And we started to sell to a chain store garden center which was a real turning point for the business because it took us from being a hobby farm to actually being a company. We decided we would like expand on this piece of property that we're on now. And so I went up to Ontario to GGS and met with Doug Moore.
Doug was nice enough to take me out and we travelled around the Niagara region and we toured quite a couple of different facilities over the course of a couple of days. We saw different structures that had different features and how, you know, it depends on what kind of a business you're running to decide on what kind of a structure you want. So then after I had seen lots of different options and then sat down with Doug and started to actually nail down a structure, I came back home and did some more finalizing. And then I placed the order.
One really important feature that I really like about the GGS structure is the ease of installation. You know, the way things fit together and the way one piece works with another piece and how a lot of the features that are even on this greenhouse structure are interchangeable with other greenhouses that we have on the property. So it's familiar products that you're used to working with, they're user friendly, they're easy to use and they're reliable. There's cheaper structures out there, but I've never been one to really play around with the cheaper. I mean lots or products are cheaper, but they're cheaper for a reason. And you always have to make sure that you're comparing apples to apples and not apples to lemons.
The strength of the structure is designed for our climate. Help with construction, trouble-shooting. That's all available. Everyone at GGS has been more than willing to help—they've bent over backwards to get new pieces shipped out if something got damaged in shipping. They have good inventory and stock so you don't have to wait a long time for the product, even if it's custom made. And that's the other part too, if you don't want to buy something that's just stock right off the shelf, they're able to help you custom design a structure and help you understand what it is that you're trying to do and help point you in the right direction so at the end of the day you get what you want, really, that's the most important thing.
"We've been using GGS structures for about over 20 years. With the steel it's so much easier to build and with GGS it comes together a lot faster—less man hours and less maintenance"
Scott's Nursery, a maritimes customer, talks about the installation advantages of GGS structures.
This is a family business. Scott's nursery have been around for over 75 years. My father and mother started the business on a farm with field production and a small greenhouse. We kept gradually growing over the years. We're in the centre of New Brunswick and serve the maritimes. That would mean we truck to Nova Scotia and PEI as well as all around New Brunswick.
The current size is about 6 acres of greenhouse and it's been a very gradual growth. We had a very devastating fire which we reconstructed part of the structure brand new because of this fire, which we weren't very excited about at the time but it's given us a new area to work in and a very quick decision. We think we've made the right choices in putting it together.
Yeah we've been using GGS structures for about over 20 years. With the steel it's so much easier to build and with GGS it comes together a lot faster—less man hours and less maintenance. We've been using them for at least 20, we started off with the quonsets and then we've recently gone into the last, well, 15 years we've gone into gutter connects. And then in 2000 we did another huge gutter connect—the one we're standing in now.
When we had a fire in 2009 we went to reconstruct in 2010 and John Uitbeyerse, who works with GGS, and Dave White came to help assist us which was fantastic help. He knows his stuff, he got the job done, and got the job done good. Here in the maritimes we get a lot of snow—up to 7 feet. The houses we're standing in right now are heated year round and other than that we've never had any fear in the years we've been into it with our gutter-connects as well as your heating.
"This is a GGS gutter vented house that we're standing in right now. We started growing on concrete flood floors; it works really well, as you can see. Our last build that we built this past winter was a half-open roof greenhouse that we built, and again we went to GGS"
Operations Manager from Hendriks Greenhouses discusses the success they've had with the GGS Open Roof Greenhouses.
Craig Barlow from Hendriks Greenhouses. Mr. Hendriks, Andrew Hendriks Sr., took over the company from his father and bought the farm. Basically there were two greenhouses that were on the property when Mr. Hendriks bought the farm off of his father. He started growing tomato plants; that was his first crop. What they started growing was tomatoes and cucumbers. So they grew those for quite a few years. Mr. Hendriks' wife, Helen Hendriks, decided to grow some tropical plants in the corner, in the back corner of the greenhouse just to try them out and to see how they would grow and how they would perform. So basically her little corner got bigger and bigger as she was growing more and more varieties and more things. And then she would arrange them in a container. A lot of it was ceramic containers back then. Then they started selling them to the local stores and flower shops and that kind of stuff. And then it just started growing from there. So as just herself making them up it grew to two or three people making them up. And then it basically grew from there and the square footage that they used for growing tomatoes kind of turned into growing more tropical plants and then into holiday crops like Easter lilies, mums and that kind of stuff for Easter and Mothers Day. And then grew poinsettias and geraniums for the spring crops.
Then as the indoor gardens grew and the demand was starting to grow even more and more those crops lessened and more tropical plants were added and different varieties and different things and that's where we are today as pretty much a 100% tropical plant producer. So in an indoor garden or also as a value added container with a 6 inch or a 4 inch tropical plant; that's what we're producing now. I'd say in the last 10 years we have been building poly houses.
This is a GGS gutter vented house that we're standing in right now. We started growing on concrete flood floors; it works really well, as you can see. Our last build that we built this past winter was a half-open roof greenhouse that we built, and again we went to GGS and asked them if it was possible to duplicate what we did with the gutter-vented greenhouse and make it a dry house.
We have built other greenhouses. That's an open roof house. We saw there was some improvements that could be made on it and working with GGS over the years with the gutter-vented greenhouse, we knew it was possible to work with them and try to duplicate a nice dry house as well. That's where we are today for Hendriks greenhouse and, also, 5 years ago they bought Freeman Herbs which was an herb company. Tim Freeman was the one that was running that, so he approached Hendriks about purchasing Freeman Herbs and so the family did and that is growing very well as well.
So that's the history. Then, Mr. Hendriks basically, handed the business over, and the sons started taking over the business and Rick and Andrew are the owners of Hendriks and Freeman Herbs. So that's where the history is.