Stuart Cofer: Homegrown – Georgia Magazine

Stuart Cofer: Homegrown – Georgia Magazine

When Stuart Cofer BBA ’81 drives close to his hometown of Athens, there are two points he can stage out: the flowers obtained from his family’s plant nursery and all the changes that have been built given that he was a child.

Cofer, an Athens native who graduated from UGA with a degree in tiny enterprise administration, followed in his family’s footsteps, which is a preferred issue to do in the Cofer household. Cofer, his father, and his brother all graduated from UGA—with his son closing the circle as a senior in the Terry College of Business.

Beyond sharing the Georgia genes, the Cofer household is extensively known domestically for their plant nursery, Cofer’s House & Backyard garden, launched in 1922 by Stuart’s grandfather as a seed and feed supply retail store in downtown Athens. The flagship store is now on Mitchell Bridge Highway on the city’s west facet. They provide exclusive crops, shrubbery, and out of doors home furniture. The target is on yards and gardens instead than catering to what was then an agricultural financial system.

“From a youthful age, my brother and I experienced an fascination in coming to the relatives business enterprise. That’s wherever our hearts often have been,” Cofer says.

Even though he used a several years following school in Los Angeles, performing his way up the chain at Company Hire-A-Auto, Cofer generally realized he’d return to Athens.

This year marks the family’s 100th in business. “It’s surreal,” claims Cofer, president and self-proclaimed inventory handle supervisor. “It’s pretty a milestone.”

Stuart Cofer with his son Stephen, who is presently a college student in the Terry Higher education of Enterprise. A picture of Stuart’s father sits around their shoulder. The memorabilia on the shelves dates back again to the store’s opening in 1922. (Picture by Peter Frey/UGA)

By some estimates, only 13% of spouse and children-owned firms make it to the third technology, with the exceedingly exceptional 4% surviving to the fourth. Cofer’s Dwelling & Yard, presently sitting down at the 3rd-era stage, will be that exception: Cofer’s son, Stephen, will start off easing into the task in the several years that comply with his UGA graduation.

As the Cofer relatives small business has been close to for a century, it is not stunning that they have a bit of Athens’ record in their roots. The warehouse on Spring Road, in which Cofer put in his childhood running all-around with his brother and cousins, is now UGA’s Delta Innovation Hub.

“It’s neat to know that this warehouse is now a hub for business people and startups,” Cofer states. “That’s what my grandfather was, and in this article we are 100 a long time later on and that setting up is continue to staying used for business owners.”

Cofer credits a handful of vital factors to the business’s results: responding to the requires of the regional financial system, for occasion. “If my grandfather was to walk in the keep nowadays, he would have no clue that this was the business enterprise he began in 1922,” he jokes.

Although he hardly ever pressured his little ones into joining the small business, Cofer enjoys bringing his 7-year-outdated granddaughter to the keep and exhibiting her the importance of tough operate.

“There’s a good deal of worry associated in owning your individual business enterprise, but you take terrific satisfaction in what you’re ready to build, what you’re ready to increase, and how you placement you and your enterprise in the group,” he says. “People understand you for that. There’s a great deal of delight in being equipped to accomplish those people things.”

This tale will appear in the Slide 2022 concern of Ga Magazine.