OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Bonnie Plants, the leading provider of vegetables and plants in the United States held the ribbon-cutting for their new headquarters in Opelika on Jan. 14, 2022. The company has been in operation for over 100 years and called Union Springs, Alabama home prior to this move to Opelika.
Mike Sutterer, the President and CEO of Bonnie Plants, said a big reason the company decided to move was because of its long-standing relationship with Auburn University. The relationship was established decades ago and Bonnie Plants has provided multiple educational opportunities for the students at the university.
“We’ve had a great relationship and history with Auburn University and really the college of agriculture for many, many years. But what we’ve done with our move is really expand that to other colleges, college of business, college of education, college of human services to really tap into a much broader base population of students at Auburn to recruit them for those open positions and functions that we’re really looking to build,” said Sutterer.
Bonnie Plants currently has 60 open jobs at the Opelika location and Sutterer said they hope to expand that in the future.
Sutterer said despite their move to the Opelika/Auburn area, the company will continue to stay present in Union Springs. According to Sutterer, they just completed a $15 million expansion project and acquired over 10 acres that will be used for greenhouses and for e-commerce production facilities. With the expansion, there are expected to be over 75 open jobs in Bullock County, Alabama.
Dr. Jay Gogue, the President of Auburn University, said the Bonnie Plants internship program for Auburn University horticulture students has been amazing and he hopes to continue the longstanding relationship.
“We’re excited to have them in the community, to have them closer to us and we hope the relationship continues but it’s a huge benefit to the entire Opelika/Auburn community,” said Dr. Gogue.
Bonnie Plants is currently in the process of building a two-acre Children’s Garden and Pollinator Garden at Auburn University. It is a $1.2 million gift that will serve for educational purposes and community outreach. According to Auburn University’s newspaper, it is expected to be completed by summer 2023.