This year is a special anniversary for Hazeltine Nurseries, 2401 North River Road. As they celebrate their 25+ years in business, owners Stephen and Michelle Hazeltine recently received national recognition with their company being inked one of the 100 largest landscape companies in the country. It’s wonderful to know we are as successful as the large companies – a small, homemade company, competing with the bigger city businesses”, Michelle said.
Hazeltine Nurseries took the 80th spot in its first appearance in the listings compiled by Lawn & Landscape magazine of the 100 largest landscape companies. According to Marisa Palmyra, Senior Editor, “the submissions ran to several hundred; however, that number doesn’t necessarily reflect the prestige of the list. Many companies don’t apply, knowing they won’t make it because the threshold is around $15.5 million. The competition is more research-based, making it the most comprehensive list of its kind in the industry. This is the 11th year the magazine has ranked the largest companies headquartered in 24 states based upon top revenues. The report offers a map-shot of unique business strategies and achievements of entrepreneurs. The Hazeltines were recognized and featured in the magazine as one of 10 companies in the list, obeying exceptional quality in residential and commercial landscapes across the country.
After graduating from Riverview High School, Michelle met her husband, a graduate of Venice High School, at vocational school in Sarasota 1982, when they were taking agricultural classes. In 1980, they started the business, and in 1984 they were married. Hazeltine Nurseries started at Stephen’s home off Laurel Road, then moved to Curry Lane off Pinebrook Road. The business grew; needing more space, they moved to River Road. They have 160 full-time employees, including their fathers and during the summer, their two sons. Their son, Michael, will join them when he graduates college, bringing new technology to the business.
From their 90-acre nursery in South Venice, they provide landscape, gardening, patio, and driveway installation, irrigation and lighting services from Longboat Key to Boca Grande. Recently, their installation teams went as far south as Miami and north to Knoxville, Tennessee. The company has just completed the landscape design and installation for the new Coral Creek Club clubhouse in Placida. “Ninety-five percent of companies our size do not do any residential, preferring commercial, but we like dealing with people”, said Stephen. “Our goal is to grow in technology computer designing up front, expediting job planning and scheduling. We will be ready to roll once the economy turns.”