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


This thirty day period, community plant retail store and nursery Cofer’s Household and Garden Showplace is celebrating 100 several years of family members-oriented company to the Athens group.

Founded in 1922 by Hal Cofer Sr., the enterprise commenced mainly because Athens was initially a farm community and the economic system was booming in that discipline, mentioned current store owner Stuart Cofer. Cofer’s was at first located on South Lumpkin Road around the Ga Theatre prior to moving to East Wide Road after Hal Cofer Sr. acquired out his business enterprise partner. Given that then, the spot has changed two periods but is now settled on Mitchell Bridge Highway.

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A yard memorial sign swings in the wind at Cofer’s Property 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 element of the 3rd generation to acquire around the enterprise. He believes dealing with shoppers by “the golden rule” is how Cofer’s has stayed in business enterprise for a century.

“If you do not deal with the purchaser right, what is likely to come about? The shopper is going to leave and go to a competitor,” Cofer said.

Cofer recounted a circumstance wherever a person impacted by a stroke walked by means of the door and could not talk. Following crafting down that he experienced a plant die previous slide but did not have a receipt for it, Cofer even now gave him retail outlet credit.

“Any other company store would say ‘no receipt, no product, no way.’ But, in a little family members enterprise, you do whichever you can to maintain the buyer happy,” Cofer mentioned.

The family members enterprise design is a neat a single for keep supervisor of four years, Dean Nelson, who is from Minnesota and has worked for big businesses and community businesses alike.

“There are not lots of 100-12 months-outdated corporations wherever,” Nelson reported.”

Nelson also thinks dealing with the prospects suitable is a way to keep the small business afloat and claimed “Shopping is an psychological experience.”

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Relatives memorabilia enhance the wall of Cofer’s Home and Backyard Showplace on March 25, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. The retailer is now operate by the family’s third generation. (Picture/Maddy Franklin)

There is additional to Cofer’s longevity than just managing clients appropriate, Cofer stated. Providing back to the community has been vital to the store’s success.

“[Locals] like to give again to the providers that live and breathe in this article,” Cofer said. The shop donates to a lot of nonprofit organizations such as the American Most cancers Culture, Habitat for Humanity, Clarke Central Higher College and the Athens Location Humane Society.

In accordance to Household Enterprise Alliance, only 3% of loved ones-owned firms make it to the fourth technology. Cofer’s will be a portion of that tiny percent. Stuart Cofer’s son, Stephen Cofer who is at the moment a third 12 months at the University of Ga, will get in excess of for his father when the time comes.

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


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