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Meijer, Masterpiece Flower Co. Enjoy 50-Year Partnership In Michigan

Paul Bouma and Tim Stiles, Masterpiece Flower Co.

Thanks to its longstanding partnership with a Michigan grower, Meijer is continuing its tradition of supplying each of its 223 stores across the Midwest with locally-grown poinsettias this holiday season—enough to fill about eight football fields.

But the partnership with Masterpiece Flower Co. has also allowed the Byron Center, Mich.-based grower to expand its own operation over the years.

“Meijer is a strong supporter of local growers and businesses, and that commitment goes beyond the grocery and produce aisles,” said Peter Whitsett, EVP of merchandising and marketing for Meijer. “Our partnership with Masterpiece Flower Co. has grown through the years because they are just as committed to quality as we are. It’s encouraging that our partnership has allowed their company to expand.”

Meijer began its partnership with Masterpiece more than 50 years ago when it purchased geraniums for the garden center of the original Meijer supercenter “Thrifty Acres” in Grand Rapids. Today, Masterpiece delivers locally-grown potted plants—including poinsettias and orchids in the winter, and hanging baskets and Easter lilies in the spring—to each Meijer store twice a week, 52 weeks a year.

That means Meijer customers in Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Louisville have the opportunity to purchase Michigan-grown poinsettias this holiday season.

“We’ve been fortunate to grow as Meijer has grown,” said Paul Bouma, partner of the third generation, family-owned company. “Meijer supporting local growers means everything to us. Each poinsettia, each potted plant, each Easter lily that’s sold means more jobs for our local community, and we’re really excited and honored to be able to serve the community in that manner.”

For example, Masterpiece is in the midst of an expansion project that will add eight loading docks to its distribution warehouse in Byron Center to better store and deliver potted plants and flowers to Meijer stores. Additionally, the grower added on to its greenhouse last year, and purchased an additional greenhouse 5 years ago in Wisconsin to service the retailer’s new market.

A key to the partnership’s success is commitment to quality and innovation, said Bill Stechebar, divisional merchandise manager of garden and floral for Meijer. For example, Masterpiece grew a poinsettia hybrid plant called a princettia that is smaller and in vibrant colors exclusively for Meijer this year that they’ve never grown before.

“We work really well with the growers at Masterpiece to introduce new products to our customers,” Stechebar said. “They deserve the very best, and thanks to the Meijer partnership with Masterpiece, that’s exactly what they are getting.”

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Terrie

An 11-year employee of The Shelby Report who writes for and about food. In previous lives, she worked at a police department in Texas and an amusement park in Arkansas. She also was a newspaper publisher for more than a decade. Not sure which of those qualified her for this job.

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