Bonnie Plants recently unveiled a multimillion-dollar expansion and upgrade of the company’s greenhouse facilities in rural Bullock County, AL. Opelika-based Bonnie Plants’ new growing and distribution facilities in Union Springs will strengthen e-commerce operations and improve production, creating jobs and paving a new foundation of growth for the grower of vegetable and herb plants for home gardens. The project was announced in April 2021.
“From innovative new products to increased e-commerce demand, this investment is all about creating an experience that will enhance the lives of our consumers better than ever before,” said Mike Sutterer, president and CEO of Bonnie Plants. ”Not only have we improved how we produce and distribute vegetable and herb plants, but as Bonnie expands into new segments such as flowers, succulents and houseplants, this modern facility makes it possible to grow and deliver any live good any time of the year.”
The expanded operations bring around 60 jobs to Bullock County, where Bonnie Plants was founded in 1918. More than 200 associates, including full- and part-time peak season associates, will support the increased production in Union Springs.
“For generations, Bonnie Plants has been a constant source of employment and economic opportunity for members of our community,” said Lynn Jinks, president of the Bullock County Chamber of Commerce. “We’re extremely optimistic about the future and excited for the next chapter as this expansion strengthens Bonnie’s roots in Bullock County.”
The expanded facilities in Union Springs include 305,000 square feet of open-roof, natural-ventilation greenhouses that offer better temperature and humidity control, energy savings and a reduced need for irrigation compared to traditional fan and shutter greenhouses.
To streamline operations, each greenhouse is connected to a 7,800-square-foot production complex and a 45,900-square-foot distribution warehouse, creating one central facility that decreases handling time and reduces variations in temperature and climate as the plants move through the facility .
The upgrade also strengthens direct fulfillment for Bonnie’s expanding e-commerce division, which has grown 860% since 2019.
“We’ve created a state-of-the-art e-commerce operation that will provide a best-in-class experience for the growing number of consumers who buy plants online,” said Sidney Phelps, director of E-commerce of Bonnie Plants. “Advanced technology and systems throughout the facility will assist our associates in their role as the personal shoppers for the customer, hand selecting high-quality plants that will make the journey from our greenhouse to their front door.”
Real Estate Firms Plan New Alabama HQ
Lake Homes Realty and sister company, RealSource Title Insurance and Real Estate Closing, will establish a new headquarters operation in Hoover, AL. The project will bring 400 new jobs to the Birmingham suburb over the next five years.
The headquarters move aligns with major growth initiatives for both Lake Homes Realty and RealSource. The companies will be located in 500 Corporate Parkway in the Meadbrook office park. Building renovations and corporation relocation will include $1 million in new capital investment at the companies.
“500 Corporate Parkway met our current business needs while having plenty of room for future growth,” said Glenn S. Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes Realty.
Lake Homes and RealSource are locating in the Shelby County portion of Hoover, an area that is a strong base for tech-based companies and corporate headquarters. Along the corridor, companies such as McLeod Software, NXTSoft, SS&C Health and FIS employ hundreds of technology workers. Civitan International is headquartered in the building where Lake Homes and RealSource will be, and Diversified Energy and the Sheffield Group also have corporate headquarters in Hoover.
“Lake Homes and RealSource are retaining and creating hundreds of knowledge based jobs that further solidify this type of corporate presence in our city,” said Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato.
“The recent commitment of Lake Homes Realty and RealSource to permanently anchor their national headquarters in Alabama is another testament to the strong business environment we all strive to create,” said Vince Perez, a senior project manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce. “We are proud that Lake Homes Realty and RealSource share in our vision that Alabama is a great place for an innovative businesses to start, grow and thrive.”