Michelle and Steve Hazeltine
Co-owners Hazeltine Nurseries
Married 24 years
Michelle and Steve met at the 4H County Fair in Sarasota. She was a sophomore at Riverview High School, and he was a senior at Venice High School; they were both showing steer. The rest is history.
Together, they started a plant nursery the summer after they met. They got their big break from Venice developer, Mike Miller. The Hazeltines were installing trees on the very first Waterford project for a landscaping contractor who was not making Miller very happy. He asked Steve and Michelle if they could do better. They said they could and have handled every single Waterford project ever since.
Hazeltine has donated or heavily discounted, consulting, design and installation work for numerous local projects, including the VABI Arboretum and Waterway Park, Venice City Hall, the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity and more. Steve serves on the Board of the Selby Foundation and the Florida House Learning Center, and both have been active in raising money for South County YMCA.
Steve is a fourth generation Venice resident; his grandfather was once the Venice Chief of Police and the Fire Chief… at the same time. The couple would like to see “a little life on Venice Avenue after 8:00 pm.” Michelle explains, “Our older son wants to come back and work here, but doesn’t know if he can live here.” Adds Steve, “I don’t believe in no growth at all. There has to be a little stimulation to keep this community going. If my grandfather had said ‘no growth,’ what would there be here?”.