If you visit states from Maine to California, go north to Alaska or south to Florida, you will find greenhouses designed and built in Madison Village by Arcadia GlassHouse.
The company not only builds greenhouses for residential properties, but also for places such as the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Holden Arboretum in Kirtland as well as Glacier National Park in Montana and the University of California.
Additionally, the company sells greenhouse accessories, such as heaters, fans, and lights.
Arcadia GlassHouse, led by its owner and president Jeff Kenyon, has moved to 354 North Lake Street in the village in 2015, having started operations about 11 years earlier in Painesville Township.
“Madison was a great community to move to,” Kenyon said, noting that he had been looking for land and buildings for some time to accommodate the company’s need for additional space. “This building (at 354 N. Lake St.) became available and the village government was there to help and accommodate us.”
Arcadia GlassHouse moved its sales and service headquarters to Madison after purchasing a building that previously served as the Wonder Bread distribution center.
“The building had stood empty for two years and was dilapidated,” said Kenyon, whose son, Paul, is the company’s vice president. “We gutted it and renovated it.”
The Madison Village building included 10,000 square feet of manufacturing space, twice the work area of Arcadia in Painesville Township.
However, with increased sales and an increased labor force, it wasn’t long before Arcadia needed more space in Madison for manufacturing and storage.
Initially, Arcadia leased additional off-site space from a Madison Township trucking company. But recently, they finished building a 5,000 square foot addition to the back of its current building on North Lake Street.
“(The addition) is primarily for warehousing and storage, but we’ll be creating another larger pad to make greenhouses,” Jeff Kenyon said. “Right now we’re making greenhouses so big that we have to build them half at a time.”
Although Arcadia started out primarily by building greenhouses for orchid growers, it now serves customers from three main sectors.
“We manufacture high quality custom greenhouses for homeowners, schools and public gardens,” Kenyon said.
The company prides itself on tailoring the design to meet specific customer requirements or preferences.
“It’s easy for us to change the height, door location, roof pitch, or install a particular ventilation system,” Kenyon said. “Everything we have to do to make the customer happy, we do.”
Greenhouses are extremely popular right now with residential customers for several reasons, Kenyon explained.
“We’re lucky to be in this industry when a lot of baby boomers are retiring and they’re saying, ‘I remember my grandma had a greenhouse, I always wanted a greenhouse, that was on my to-do list,” Kenyon said. “So you have a generational thing.”
The demand for residential greenhouses is also strong as more homeowners want to grow organic vegetables and fruits.
“A lot of people don’t want to buy (fruits and vegetables) grown with chemicals,” Kenyon said.
Arcadia also specializes in the design and construction of greenhouses for schools, which use the structures to provide hands-on learning in subjects such as organic gardening, horticulture and sustainability.
“We have several greenhouses in Lake County in elementary and middle schools,” Kenyon said. “We also sell to high schools, colleges and universities.”
As for public gardens, the company recently designed and built two new greenhouses for the Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Phoenix, Arizona.
“It’s the largest botanical garden west of the Mississippi River,” Kenyon said.
A new project that Arcadia GlassHouse will spearhead is the construction of a new greenhouse for the HELP Foundation, a Euclid-based agency that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“It will be a 100-foot-long, 5,000-square-foot greenhouse at Euclid that will grow hydroponic foods,” Kenyon said.
The foundation will use the greenhouse to expand its career adjustment programs and integrated employment services for its clients.
Arcadia GlassHouse has also grown through the acquisition of a well-known greenhouse manufacturer.
In 2018 Arcadia bought Lord and Burnham, a company that built greenhouses from the mid-1800s and through the 20th century.
“It was a big business that eventually went down over time and we were able to buy them where they were based in upstate New York,” Kenyon said. “We bought all their engineering, brands and equipment.”
Arcadia now manufactures Lord and Burnham greenhouses, which have a more traditional look, alongside its own line of modern structures at the Madison Village headquarters.
“Lord and Burnham is a small part of our business, but it’s still an important part,” Kenyon said. “Some people love it, and it just shows how we’ve gone from home, to home and public gardens and schools, and then also into the specialist market.”
Arcadia’s workforce now numbers 20 employees, nearly triple the seven employees who came to Madison Village in 2015.
The company’s approach to people is to treat employees like family, create a friendly environment and hire people who bring ideas and take responsibility for their position.
Looking to the future, Kenyon said his goal is to increase sales growth in the target markets the company currently serves. He said one of the main keys to the company’s success was its “great reputation for quality products”.
“Our greenhouses are well built, we don’t compromise on quality,” he said. “We’re not the lowest price, we’re not the highest price, but I think we’re the best value for the high end. I know it’s a niche and I want to own that niche.