A hometown staple in Swanton for more than 70 years has been purchased by a Delaware, Ohio, company.
The sale of Schmidt Brothers Inc. to Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse Co. was closed Dec. 27. The company took over operation of the 14 1/2-acres of greenhouses at 420 N. Hallett Ave. on Thursday.
Schmidt Brothers’ 63-year-old co-owner Bob Schmidt Jr., who will seek other employment, said the sale had been ongoing since April. He declined to disclose the price.
“We’re getting older, and have no family members who were interested in the business, so I guess it was time to move on,” he said. “We had an opportunity to sell, and I’m looking for something with less pressure.”
Schmidt Brothers reached out to several companies and chose Foertmeyer & Sons, with whom they conducted business for several years. The new owners will continue the present greenhouse business but plan to expand their greenhouse fundraising operation as well.
The majority of Schmidt Brothers’ 20 full-time employees will keep their jobs. Schmidt Brothers co-owner Allen Schmidt has taken a position as a warehouse manager in Perrysburg, Ohio. Of two other co-owners, Mike Schmidt will remain with the greenhouse and Bill Schmidt plans to retire.
Foertmeyer & Sons owner Mark Foertmeyer did not return numerous requests for comment. Foertmeyer & Sons did announce the sale on their website, saying, “Their experience and growing excellence is something that we are thrilled to be partnering with. Bringing knowledge of both horticulture and marketing, we will collaborate to bring the best possible products and programs to the fundraising and wholesale markets! We are excited to continue with their staff and customer base, as well as implementing and developing our fundraising model further into the Northern Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.”
Schmidt Brothers Inc. was opened by Lawrence and Hilda Schmidt as a grain, vegetable, and livestock operation in 1937. Bob Sr. and Paul Schmidt took over in 1941, and built the first greenhouse 10 years later to grow vegetable transplants. The company began growing bedding plants in 1961 on what is part of a 700-acre farm.
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.