Serving your growing needs since 1949...
In 1949, twenty-five year old veteran of the WWII Navy, James Stratton, founded Stratton Greenhouses together with his new bride. His generation had just travelled the world fighting for freedom, and for them, anything was possible. After interning at a tomato-growing greenhouse in Toledo, Ohio, James acquired land and financing to start his own business. James dug his first well by hand to get the greenhouse started, and the business quickly became a family affair, with everyone from toddlers to grandparents pitching in. For 25 years, with his family and employees by his side, James grew tomatoes for the local and regional market. The business flourished throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, but the economic and energy constraints of the 1970’s put an end to the greenhouse tomato industry in Ohio. The last crop of tomatoes at Strattons’ was grown in 1974.
James’ son Steve had spent his childhood working at the greenhouse alongside his father, and in 1975 he returned to help make the switch to growing bedding plants for the new big box landscaping model that the Ohio greenhouse industry took on at that time. Within five years the business doubled from ½ acre to 1 acre undercover, and was selling bedding plants within a 100 mile radius. In 1979, Steve and his wife Susie expanded the business to include The Country Peddler; a gift shop and local retail outlet for the greenhouse. By the 1990’s the greenhouse was producing a vast array of seasonally bedding plants, hardy garden mums, poinsettias, and Easter plants for the expanding markets.
In the early 2000’s, another shift could be felt as the big box retail industry moved toward a pay-per-scan model, which resulted in lower sales for greenhouse wholesalers. Energy costs rose over 400%, and the economic recession halted homeowner landscaping. Again, Stratton Greenhouses adapted to suit changing demands. We refocused on our retail business and strengthening community relationships, and began collaborating with village, town, and civic entities and local universities to help keep our communities vibrant through floral beautification programs. Today Stratton Greenhouses offer a complete garden center experience, comprehensive landscape design and installation services, community beautification programs, fundraising possibilities, a business enhancement program, and more. Steve and Susie Stratton still own and run the greenhouse, 70 years after its inception, and they wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Steve Stratton, 2018