Cofer’s Home and Garden Showplace celebrates 100th anniversary | Arts & Culture

This thirty day period, local plant shop and nursery Cofer’s Household and Back garden Showplace is celebrating 100 a long time of family members-oriented assistance to the Athens group.

Started in 1922 by Hal Cofer Sr., the enterprise started due to the fact Athens was initially a farm local community and the overall economy was booming in that subject, explained current retail store proprietor Stuart Cofer. Cofer’s was originally located on South Lumpkin Avenue in close proximity to the Georgia Theatre prior to shifting to East Wide Road just after Hal Cofer Sr. bought out his small business spouse. Considering that then, the spot has altered two times but is now settled on Mitchell Bridge Street.







A garden memorial indication swings in the wind at Cofer’s Dwelling and Backyard Showplace on March 25, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. This month, Cofer’s is celebrating its 100th anniversary. (Photograph/Maddy Franklin)


Stuart Cofer is a section of the third generation to just take over the company. He thinks managing consumers by “the golden rule” is how Cofer’s has stayed in organization for a century.

“If you don’t address the purchaser right, what’s heading to take place? The shopper is likely to go away and go to a competitor,” Cofer said.

Cofer recounted a predicament in which a man impacted by a stroke walked through the door and could not connect. Immediately after writing down that he had a plant die previous slide but did not have a receipt for it, Cofer nevertheless gave him retail outlet credit score.

“Any other company store would say ‘no receipt, no merchandise, no way.’ But, in a compact spouse and children business enterprise, you do regardless of what you can to retain the client happy,” Cofer reported.

The spouse and children company model is a neat a single for store supervisor of four many years, Dean Nelson, who is from Minnesota and has labored for large organizations and neighborhood businesses alike.

“There are not quite a few 100-year-previous organizations anyplace,” Nelson claimed.”

Nelson also thinks dealing with the shoppers correct is a way to preserve the business afloat and claimed “Shopping is an psychological expertise.”







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Household memorabilia enhance the wall of Cofer’s House and Backyard Showplace on March 25, 2022 in Athens, Ga. The retail outlet is now operate by the family’s 3rd technology. (Photograph/Maddy Franklin)


There is far more to Cofer’s longevity than just treating clients right, Cofer said. Supplying back again to the neighborhood has been essential to the store’s results.

“[Locals] like to give again to the companies that stay and breathe here,” Cofer mentioned. The retail outlet donates to several nonprofit organizations which includes the American Cancer Modern society, Habitat for Humanity, Clarke Central Substantial University and the Athens Place Humane Modern society.

In accordance to Family Small business Alliance, only 3% of loved ones-owned businesses make it to the fourth generation. Cofer’s will be a portion of that little per cent. Stuart Cofer’s son, Stephen Cofer who is now a 3rd year at the University of Georgia, will just take more than for his father when the time arrives.

A celebration is also underway for the centennial 12 months from March 25-27, positioned at Cofer’s with foods vans, radio stations, and live music.