This photo includes representatives from three independent garden centers profiled in this issue. From left: Rich Christakes, CEO of Alsip Home & Nursery; Jim Jenkins, owner of Jim Jenkins Lawn & Garden Center; and Regas Chefas, owner of Gethsemane Garden Center. They were photographed at Goodale Park in Columbus, Ohio, during Cultivate’16, and we thank them again for their time.
Jodi Miller

Last year, we published our 2015 Top 100 Independent Garden Centers issue in September, and for the first time, we dedicated the majority of the pages to telling the stories of 20 businesses on our list.

We’re continuing the tradition for 2016, with profiles of 20 different garden center businesses and their leaders from across the country and from No. 1 to 99. You can find the full Top 100 list pull-out poster here. The issue kicks off with a feature on Armstrong Garden Centers & Pike Nurseries, the largest independent garden center retailer in the country, here. The business has nearly 50 locations in three states.

The issue isn’t just dedicated to larger garden centers, however; we spotlight single stores as well as IGCs with multiple locations. To close, we illustrate some of the most interesting information compiled from our list in an infographic, including how many garden centers on the list are family-owned (and by which generation), the sales volume of all 100 garden centers combined and the total number of employees here.

Like last year, we asked companies to tell us what makes them successful, what sets them apart, and what challenges they’ve faced recently. Their stories reflect the diversity of garden center retailers and the common threads that tie this close-knit industry together.