Many of you are familiar with the Better-Gro brand, but you may not know the family or the story behind it. This holiday season, as you prepare to celebrate with friends and family, we wanted to share our family story, and how we have blossomed over the past three generations into a nationally-known wholesale grower and supplier of plant products.
Who doesn’t love a free gift with purchase? Well, if you can believe it, when our company was first started an orchid was the free gift and barbeque sauce was the purchase! A.P. Hollingsworth, founder of Sun Bulb Co. (the parent company for Better-Gro), and his wife Mildred were originally in the BBQ sauce business while bulbs and plants were just a hobby.
A marketer ahead of his time, A.P. would give away a free orchid to every consumer who returned a label from his tasty sauce. For an additional 25 cents, they would get a second orchid.
Call it fate, fortune or serendipity, but the kitchen where the sauce was made caught fire and destroyed most of the family’s inventory. A.P took it as a sign, sold his patent for the BBQ sauce recipes and jumped full time into the business of growing and selling orchids and bulbs.
The Next Generation
In 1974, A.P. and Mildred’s eldest son, Rodney Hollingsworth joined the family business followed by their youngest son, Tom just three short years later. Under the brothers’ leadership, Sun Bulb grew exponentially over the next three decades to become a well-known, regional wholesale supplier of tropical plants and gardening supplies.
As other growers joined the flourishing orchid market, Sun Bulb differentiated itself from the competition by growing a diverse variety of plants for both first-time orchid owners as well as experienced growers. A business model that continues today.
All in the Family
A.P. and Mildred’s family legacy now extends three generations. Rodney’s son, Rod Hollingsworth joined Sun Bulb in 2006. Under Rod’s leadership, the company has diversified beyond plants into additional gardening goods including the purchase of Dynamite Plant Food and most recently an exclusive arrangement with plant pot manufacturer's The Kokodama Collection from Holland and Soendgen Keramik (SK) of Germany.
We hope the sharing of our family story has helped put a face behind the Better-Gro label. Our plants are grown with care, and we look forward to continuing to share A.P.’s love of orchids with you.
This holiday season, remember to set aside some quality time to grow with your family. Happy Holidays from the Hollingsworth Family and Better-Gro Team. Happy Blooming.