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

This month, nearby plant store and nursery Cofer’s Home and Backyard garden Showplace is celebrating 100 years of loved ones-oriented service to the Athens group.

Founded in 1922 by Hal Cofer Sr., the enterprise began simply because Athens was originally a farm local community and the financial system was booming in that field, said recent store operator Stuart Cofer. Cofer’s was in the beginning located on South Lumpkin Street close to the Ga Theatre in advance of going to East Wide Avenue just after Hal Cofer Sr. purchased out his small business spouse. Since then, the location has changed two occasions but is now settled on Mitchell Bridge Highway.







A backyard garden memorial sign swings in the wind at Cofer’s Residence and Backyard garden Showplace on March 25, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. This thirty day period, Cofer’s is celebrating its 100th anniversary. (Photo/Maddy Franklin)


Stuart Cofer is a aspect of the 3rd generation to consider in excess of the organization. He believes managing clients by “the golden rule” is how Cofer’s has stayed in business enterprise for a century.

“If you don’t address the buyer suitable, what’s heading to transpire? The customer is likely to leave and go to a competitor,” Cofer explained.

Cofer recounted a predicament where by a man impacted by a stroke walked by means of the door and could not talk. Just after crafting down that he had a plant die final fall but didn’t have a receipt for it, Cofer nevertheless gave him retail store credit score.

“Any other corporate retail store would say ‘no receipt, no item, no way.’ But, in a tiny spouse and children business enterprise, you do no matter what you can to continue to keep the consumer satisfied,” Cofer claimed.

The loved ones enterprise product is a neat just one for keep manager of 4 several years, Dean Nelson, who is from Minnesota and has worked for major businesses and nearby businesses alike.

“There are not a lot of 100-yr-previous firms any where,” Nelson mentioned.”

Nelson also thinks managing the buyers appropriate is a way to hold the business enterprise afloat and mentioned “Shopping is an emotional experience.”







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Relatives memorabilia embellish the wall of Cofer’s House and Backyard garden Showplace on March 25, 2022 in Athens, Ga. The retailer is now operate by the family’s third technology. (Image/Maddy Franklin)


There’s more to Cofer’s longevity than just treating clients proper, Cofer claimed. Supplying back again to the group has been essential to the store’s achievements.

“[Locals] like to give again to the organizations that reside and breathe listed here,” Cofer said. The retailer donates to a lot of nonprofit organizations together with the American Cancer Modern society, Habitat for Humanity, Clarke Central Significant Faculty and the Athens Place Humane Culture.

According to Loved ones Small business Alliance, only 3% of family-owned organizations make it to the fourth era. Cofer’s will be a section of that small %. Stuart Cofer’s son, Stephen Cofer who is at this time a third yr at the College of Ga, will get over for his father when the time will come.

A celebration is also underway for the centennial year from March 25-27, found at Cofer’s with food vans, radio stations, and stay new music.