SPICER — The Green Lake Nursery in Spicer has new owners.
Ted Anderson and Robbie Danielson, two friends with shared interests, purchased the landscaping and greenhouse business from Danny Commerford, who has been with the family-owned business since it began 45 years ago.
The transaction was completed March 16.
Commerford said he and all the existing staff, which includes about a dozen full-time employees and four part-time workers, will continue working there.
“I’m not leaving, even though I did sell the business,” said Commerford.
- Local greenhouses running out of plants, busier than ever before
- Curbside pickup of seeds, mulch and pots of flowers is available at some west central Minn. nurseries
“The whole crew is staying,” said Anderson, of rural New London. “We want to keep everything the same.”
The new owners plan to add some new services, including dock and lift installation and removal. They have purchased a barge and intend to have that available this spring. Other services, like hydroseeding grass and irrigation systems, may also be added in the future.
Anderson, 43, and Danielson, 48, have had some experience with landscaping but will be relying on the expertise of Commerford and his experienced crew while they learn the ropes.
“It’s all new. It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure,” said Danielson, of Willmar. “There’s a lot of learning to do.”
“I’ve told them ‘you’re all still the bosses,’” said Anderson, who praised Commerford and the staff for working with them during the transition. “Everybody’s been great.”
The Green Lake Nursery was started in 1976 by RJ (Robert) Buckley, who was Commerford’s father-in-law.
Commerford, 68, said he started working for the nursery right out of college “and I’ve been here ever since.”
The Green Lake Nursery is where he met Buckley’s daughter, Laura, who became his wife. Laura died earlier this year.
Commerford said selling the business is “bittersweet.”
“I can’t say I’m excited yet,” he said. “I know I will once we get busy and I can see all the people coming back in and can help these guys take hold of the reins.”
Commerford said he’s eager to see old and new customers when the doors open this spring.
“We have long-term client relationships,” said Commerford. “And that shouldn’t change. It’s all about service.”
During the 45 years he’s been in the nursery and landscape business, Commerford said he’s seen many changes, including competition from big box stores, but said providing good service is the best way to beat the competition.
“It’s been a great ride,” he said. “ Loved it all my life and I still will.”
The Green Lake Nursery opens for the season April 5.
Anderson said he and Danielson may have a grand opening in May to celebrate their ownership of the popular business.
“We are excited,” said Anderson.