Aris Horticulture Inc. Celebrates 100 years in business

Posted 2/5/21

ALVA - We are incredibly proud to celebrate our 100th anniversary

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Aris Horticulture Inc. Celebrates 100 years in business

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ALVA - We are incredibly proud to celebrate our 100th anniversary and humbled by the fact that few companies reach this major milestone. It would not have been possible without the support of our customers, distribution and breeder partners, suppliers, employees, and the communities we’ve worked with over the years. Thank you!

Ira and Menno Yoder established the company as Yoder Brothers located in Barberton, Ohio. They purchased the business from an agricultural industrialist, O.C. Barber who captured a leading position in the world’s match business, with an idea to bring industrial methods learned in agriculture to vegetables and flowers. Through scientific methods, technologies were used to develop the Chrysanthemum into a year-round, worldwide crop. From there, the company became a global leader in mushrooms and horticulture. Expansion touched many parts of the globe, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Carolina and California in the U.S., Ontario, Canada and European Union countries: England, Denmark, Germany, Holland, with other production facilities in Kenya, Colombia, and the Canary islands. Businesses were bought and sold as markets changed, including globalization.

The knowledge gained over the years has been applied to many other crops, including Azaleas, Hibiscus and Perennials. For example, Aris invested in perennials in 1996 and utilized its expertise in stock management to achieve both efficiency and clean stock. Making things better has been a driving force for the company.

Today, what began as a sustainable agricultural farm is now one of the largest, diversified vertically-integrated greenhouse operations in the industry. The corporate office remains in Barberton, with production locations in Alva, Florida (2 farms); Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Leamington, Ontario in Canada. Aris is regularly listed as one of the largest North American growers with total growing space at 2.03 million square feet; 2.75 million square feet of outdoor, saran-covered fields and 435,000 square feet of outdoor field production. Combined total production space is nearly 5.5 million square feet. Aris’ dedicated employees are the heart of our success; worldwide employment reached into the thousands during peak times.

Aris consists of multiple divisions:
Keepsake® Plants Florida (finished and young plants) and Canada (finished products for mass retail and specialty. Tradewinds Hibiscus® is the brand leader and Keepsake® Azaleas are best in class.

Green Leaf Plants (Pennsylvania): Perennials, including Dianthus, Herbs, Grasses and more (liners and unrooted). The perennial assortment (from top breeders) is considered the largest in North America;

Must Have Perennials® (IP) Brings new, innovative perennials to market, and provides support for the horticulture trade, from breeders to growers and propagators, retailers and end consumers.

Aris Sales: Knowledgeable sales support team
Production includes a broad and diverse offering of young and finished plants, including unrooted cuttings, plugs, liners and finished products. Aris quality sets the standard for a wide assortment of other garden and indoor blooming products, including Gediflora Belgian Mums®, Syngenta Flowers’ Yoder® Mums, Suntory Sun Parasol® Mandevilla and HBA Hydrangeas covering finished-container potted plants and a broad group of starter-plant product forms. Our motto is “we have a size for that.”

Innovation and adaptability are core competencies of the company, along with its dedicated, hardworking employees. Over the years, product lines and production have evolved to meet changing market needs, making Aris a diversified, vertically integrated and profitable business.

Asked about plans for the future, Scott Schaefer, Aris CEO said, “I can see nothing but continued opportunity for growth and development in fulfilling our mission to provide industry-leading quality and service at competitive prices through Aris’ distribution system. There are plenty of good things in the works to come.”

It would be great to hear your favorite stories and memories of Yoder/Aris over this time. Email us at 100th@Arishort.com. Find us at Arishort.com and follow us on Linked In, Facebook and YouTube at Aris Horticulture, Inc.

TIMELINE
1920
In November, Ira and Menno Yoder founded Yoder Brothers, now Aris Horticulture Inc., in Barberton, Ohio USA. Production included vegetables and some flowering plants.

1930s-1940s
Chrysanthemum production and breeding begins ‒ a core product line for over 70 years.

Crop health, virus-indexing program developed – an industry first. Mum stock was sent to Canada during WWII and returned with verticillium wilt virus. Our plant pathologist, Conrad Olson, developed virus-indexing protocol, to save the mums, and it is the basis of current day practices.

Bill Duffett was hired as our first mum breeder. He bred over 300 varieties including chrysanthemums, carnations, and snapdragons.

1950s-1960s
Yoder Brothers, Inc. becomes the largest horticulture company geared to supplying growers.

First computer system installed to process orders/data company-wide.

Production facilities added in Fort Myers and Alva, Florida.

Leamington, Ontario, Canada operation is established in 1964 as a partnership with Atkins Flowers. New greenhouses built in 1965 to produce flowering potted plants for supermarket retail sales.

Plant Patents replace breeder/grower agreements – 1st chrysanthemum patent received in 1965.

1970s – 1980s
Expansion in Florida with purchase of Live Oak and Parrish farms.

Pathology Lab established in Florida for certified cuttings from virus-free stock.

Breeding programs begin for Tradewinds Hibiscus® (1984) and Keepsake® Azaleas (1989).

1990s
Green Leaf Plants® established in Smoketown, PA, adding perennials to the mix.

International launch of Blooms of Bressingham® perennials (1995).

Introduction of Fleurettes® – pot mums with small daisy flowers.

Breeding breakthrough – Pelee is 1st bi-color pot mum.

Marketing programs accelerate:
Bouquet Mum/Easter Egg Mum concepts launched – mixed flower colors grown in same pot

Supermarket Advisory Board established (includes supermarket floral buyers, growers, marketing agency)

Spray Mum Advisory Team established (40 members, all floral industry segments)

Supermarket Floral display contests for holiday sales

Cutting Edge newsletter for growers

Garden Border newsletter for retailers

2000s
Yoder Brothers, Inc. name changes to Aris Horticulture, Inc. when the mum genetics and the internationally- known Yoder-mum brand name are sold to Syngenta Flowers in 2008.

Keepsake Plants division established for Florida and Canada potted plant production.

1st clean stock, plant-health protocol is established for perennials.

Flower Fields® Alliance marketing initiative created to promote garden plant sales.

Green Leaf Plants becomes the industry leader in Dianthus production, including a tissue culture-based clean-stock program.

Green Leaf Plants establishes a trial garden for evaluation of perennials.

Florida facility receives MPS Certification.

Blooms of Bressingham’s company name changes to Must Have Perennials®. The variety offering is marketed under the consumer-friendly Rozanne and Friends® brand at retail with an innovative social media program and website.

Geranium Rozanne is named the Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial Plant of the Year in 2008 and the RHS Plant of the Centenary in 2013. (Rozanne is a Must Have Perennials introduction).

2020
Aris Horticulture, Inc. celebrates 100 years in business and is positioned for the future with diversified product lines through breeding, young plant production and quality finished products.

Must Have Perennials celebrates its 25-year anniversary.

Geranium Rozanne is the world’s most popular flower on Facebook with 107,000 likes.

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