October 5, 2022

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

This month, neighborhood plant retail outlet and nursery Cofer’s Dwelling and Backyard Showplace is celebrating 100 several years of loved ones-oriented service to the Athens community.

Established in 1922 by Hal Cofer Sr., the enterprise commenced mainly because Athens was initially a farm group and the financial system was booming in that industry, mentioned recent retail outlet owner Stuart Cofer. Cofer’s was originally situated on South Lumpkin Street near the Ga Theatre right before going to East Wide Avenue following Hal Cofer Sr. acquired out his business enterprise partner. Considering the fact that then, the locale has altered two moments but is now settled on Mitchell Bridge Road.







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A back garden memorial indicator swings in the wind at Cofer’s House and Garden Showplace on March 25, 2022 in Athens, Ga. This month, Cofer’s is celebrating its 100th anniversary. (Picture/Maddy Franklin)


Stuart Cofer is a component of the third generation to just take in excess of the company. He believes managing consumers by “the golden rule” is how Cofer’s has stayed in organization for a century.

“If you do not deal with the customer appropriate, what is likely to materialize? The buyer is going to go away and go to a competitor,” Cofer mentioned.

Cofer recounted a situation the place a male impacted by a stroke walked by means of the door and could not connect. Immediately after creating down that he experienced a plant die previous fall but didn’t have a receipt for it, Cofer nonetheless gave him store credit rating.

“Any other corporate keep would say ‘no receipt, no solution, no way.’ But, in a small family company, you do what ever you can to preserve the consumer satisfied,” Cofer mentioned.

The family organization model is a neat one particular for keep manager of 4 decades, Dean Nelson, who is from Minnesota and has labored for major companies and nearby businesses alike.

“There aren’t many 100-year-previous firms any place,” Nelson reported.”

Nelson also thinks managing the clients right is a way to hold the business afloat and reported “Shopping is an emotional experience.”







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Loved ones memorabilia embellish the wall of Cofer’s Home and Backyard Showplace on March 25, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. The keep is now run by the family’s third technology. (Picture/Maddy Franklin)


There’s a lot more to Cofer’s longevity than just treating buyers ideal, Cofer claimed. Giving again to the group has been key to the store’s accomplishment.

“[Locals] like to give again to the corporations that stay and breathe below,” Cofer claimed. The shop donates to many nonprofit organizations like the American Cancer Modern society, Habitat for Humanity, Clarke Central Large University and the Athens Area Humane Society.

In accordance to Household Small business Alliance, only 3% of spouse and children-owned firms make it to the fourth generation. Cofer’s will be a section of that tiny per cent. Stuart Cofer’s son, Stephen Cofer who is at the moment a third calendar year at the College of Georgia, will acquire more than for his father when the time comes.

A celebration is also underway for the centennial year from March 25-27, positioned at Cofer’s with meals vans, radio stations, and dwell songs.