Caan’s Floral & Greenhouses caters to customers who expect the highest quality gardening products, even if that means paying a bit extra for the best brands. To that end, Hestra Gloves has been an excellent fit (pun intended) for the garden center's president and owner, Kris Shepard, who carries the gloves in eight to 10 styles.

Caan’s stocks a large assortment of Hestra goods, including light-weight “dip” gloves best used for potting, planting and everyday projects. Goatskin gloves, meanwhile, are durable enough to guard against moisture and tough outdoor conditions. Then there’s the Hestra’s “gauntlet” glove, made with a long cowhide cuff for protection against sharp thorn jabs and other gardening mishaps.

Depending on the style, Caan’s Hestra selection retails from $7.99 to $24.99. Price-conscious consumers can find less expensive offerings at big box stores, but Caan’s patrons are willing to pay for excellence.

“At an independent garden center like ours, we’re getting the serious gardener who wants high-quality plants as well as the best gardening tools and products,” Shepard says. “Hestra does a great job of reflecting the image I want — products that you won’t find anywhere else but at an independent garden center.”

Shepard discovered the brand four years ago during a trade show. Intricate stitching and a distinctive Velcro tab attracted the garden center proprietor’s attention immediately. Although 90 percent of his available styles are designed for women, Shepard, along with a number of his employees, like the gloves enough to wear them on the job.

“Customers will stop by and ask what gloves we’re wearing and where can they find them,” Shepard says. “That helps promote the product.”

Dip gloves are his best sellers, in particular a fitted latex “bamboo” glove made from a heavier material.

“People say that can get through a whole season with these gloves,” says Shepard.

The company’s customer service is top notch as well, as Shepard works with a national sales manager willing to sell him fair product minimums at the end of a growing season.

“Normally you may have to do a high-money minimum order, but with Hestra you can get two dozen pairs at a time,” Shepard says. “These gloves may cost a bit more, but they’re what my customers are looking for.”