How does a family business survive for 100 years? That’s what we explore with Tyler Kluck of Kluck Nursery, just outside of Saginaw. Most they deal with commercial contracts. But every Christmas, over 5,500 people decorate their homes with Kluck Christmas Trees.
In this episode, we talk about what it’s like to assume the mantle of a successful family business; what role does 100 years of history play into making decisions; and how the staff, both managerial and employee, are getting ready to retire and how this impacts the new employees coming in.
Links mentioned in this episode:
1020 Van Wormer Rd.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: You can truly make a difference in people’s lives, I think with trees and plants by making their houses look nice. And just to say, you know, we put a lot of time into growing that and to making it a beautiful landscape. You literally see the, your hard work paying off by the trees and shrubs growing. So I never had a doubt that this is what I wanted to do.
Cliff Duvernois: So what makes Michigan a great state? I’m glad you asked.
My name is Cliff Duvernois and I’m on a quest to answer that exact question. After 20 years, I’ve returned to my native Michigan, and I’m looking to reconnect with my home state. I’m talking to the people who are behind Michigan’s great businesses and top destinations, the same people who work hard every day to make our lives a little bit brighter.
And you Michigander are coming along for the ride.
This is the Call of Leadership podcast.
Cliff Duvernois: Hello everyone and welcome back to the Call of Leadership Podcast. So today we’re talking to one of those businesses that probably most people would just glance at when they drive by, but these are oftentimes the businesses that I think that have the most interesting story, and for most people, They probably only visit this place around Christmas time.
Well, we’re lucky enough today to be at CL Nursery located just outside of Saginaw, Michigan. Tyler Cluck, Vice President of Cluck Nursery is joining me for this interview. Tyler, how are you?
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Good. Great. Thanks for having us part of this very honored and humbled. To be part of your, uh, tour here.
Cliff Duvernois: thanks. And I am, I’m monitored to be here. You’ve got a very impressive, uh, facility and I know we’re gonna talk about more about that here in a second. But why don’t you tell us a little bit about where you’re from and where you grew up.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Yeah, absolutely. So, born and raised in Saginaw right here at the nursery. Pretty much. We live just down the road. My parents, uh, and I have a sister who is not involved with the business currently. But we both grew up, you know, kind of living and breathing the nursery industry. And went to high school around here and then went to Michigan State University and graduated in 2013 with, uh, my horticulture degree and have been back here on the nursery since 2013 with my dad.
And currently I’m the 4th generation in the business and just hoping to keep this thing going. Like it has like a lot of shoes to fill, right? Uh, but a lot of great teachers who have been behind me my father obviously, and then our great staff, we have has been a great start to this, uh, adventure for me.
Cliff Duvernois: I want to ask some more questions about your past, but before I do that, I’d like to get a little bit more perspective on the history of Cluck Nursery. So you said that you’re fourth generation. Talk to us about when it was founded and who founded it.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Sure. Yeah. So it, we were founded in the 1920s. Don’t have any exact date. But my, it’d be my great grandfather, Walter Kluck. He is the one who had this great idea. He started planting some trees basically, and. It was during, around Christmas time and, uh, a, a local guy from Thomas Township came over on a horse and, SL and, you know, said, Hey, I want to cut one of these Christmas trees down and use it as a, in my, in my house.
And, and Walter said, Yeah, that’s a great idea. So that kind of got the ball rolling, with the Christmas end of things. And then he had some trees planted on his property. He’d have people coming over us saying, Hey, I wanna buy those trees and plant ’em in my yard. And so it just kind of started as people literally came out and they dug their own shrubs, trees to take to their yard.
And, you know, he’d start thinking, Okay, as a business, maybe we can do some with this. Fast forward some, some years they had four, uh, Three boys and a daughter. Uh, two of the boys were involved in the business, uh, Ed Clark and my, my grandfather, uh, Gerald Clark, uh, would’ve been the second generation.
And they also at the time had dairy cows and had some chickens. So Ed kind of took that side of the business and my grandpa Gerald, took more of the nursery side of the. And was a great combo that way. And then eventually the, um, the cattle and the chickens kind of faded off. Just wasn’t feasible anymore.
So they kind of partnered both in the nursery and kept growing that. And then my grandfather and grandma had, uh, two daughters and a son, Tom Clark being my dad, and he joined the business with my great. And grandpa, and really that’s when kind of they really started to make this nursery thing grow.
And we’re now currently up to about 500 acres and I am now involved as the fourth generation. And just love it. Just love seeing all this what came before me and just hope to keep going on and, and growing. being a service to the community and throughout the state. And just to keep this thing going.
Cliff Duvernois: One thing I do like about this story is the fact that this was founded in the 1920s, so we’re getting pretty close to your hundredth anniversary.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Yeah. It’s getting real close. Real close.
Cliff Duvernois: Real close. And during that time, your business has seen Boom and bust, your business survived the Great Depression. You have seen more recessions than most people can keep track of.
What do you think has allowed your, uh, family business just to survive that long? I mean, and I say that because it’s rare that businesses break the a hundred year mark, so you’re kind of a statistical anomaly here. So what would you attribute that.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Yeah, that’s a, that’s a, that’s a great question actually. I thought this morning that maybe this would come up. And I, so I thought about it a little bit and they went through a lot of hard times, maybe even a little bit harder than what we dealt with, with the depression and all that.
But now that we’ve dealt with c yes, and that whole deal I think from what’s, I think way back then to now, It’s just a really core family business. And through the good times and bad times, I think everybody just, especially in the bad times stepped up a little bit harder and just, you know, look, this is our livelihood.
We need to figure out a way to, to do this. So I think I never met my great grandfather, but he started the roots, I think, um, of, you know, we gotta figure out how to do it and if, you know, they got through it. And then my grandpa was the same, same attitude. My great Uncle Ed was the same attitude. And then my dad, I think it’s basically just been a rolling ball effect that just keeps growing on.
The at times are tough and times are also good, but when they’re tough, you really gotta buckle down. Just really nail it down and try even harder. Yes. And work harder. And then also have a good supporting cast, uh, with your employees. And from day one, we’ve had very reliable employees keep this business operating.
So, and I think also very key of support from the spouses too. Any business, you work a lot. In our type of industry, you know, we have keep plants alive, so if it doesn’t rain, if it rains too much, you know, there’s some extra hours. So I think from great Grandma Frida, all the way to my wife Tara, all of our wives have been very supportive to allow us to live our dream.
And, you know, there’s gonna be some extra stress, extra hardships with any business. But when you live it hand in. They allowed everybody to keep being successful and to give us a support, you know, to do it. So I think that’s a really key thing with a family business too, to have the whole team on board and you’re gonna have highs and lows, but you’re gonna get through it.
Cliff Duvernois: So for a bit of perspective here, your business started in the 1920s and it was literally two guys selling trees out of their yard. How many people would you say are on staff today?
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: You guys? Yeah, we currently have right around 40 employees. You know, obviously not all full time. In the, in the winter months, we’re not as busy, so we, we go down to about a dozen. But at our peak season, if we could be about 40 to 45 that’s, that’s where we’re at.
Cliff Duvernois: And of course this business started in a yard. So how big is Kluck Nursery?
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Yeah, we’ve grown tremendously. Uh, we probably have about 500 acres. And that’s enough for now. , it’s, it, it, it’s grown quite a bit. I’ve, I’m 29 so I’ve seen it grow, not as much as my dad or grandpa have, but yeah, we have about 500 acres. Nursery stock and don’t plan to get any bigger right now, but you never know.
Cliff Duvernois: What I would like to do is I’d like to dive into the question of how you’re able to maintain 500 acres, but before we do that, we’re gonna take a quick second and thank our sponsors.
Casey Stevens: The Steven center for family business exists to support the success of family business throughout the great lakes bay region of Michigan. It provides a wealth of resources that family business owners and leaders can access to leverage the unique strengths inherent in their family enterprise.
The center provides educational opportunities about managing the often complicated combination of family and business and host networking events where family business leaders can share their experiences and learn from one another drawing on experts from around the country. The center focuses on topics and issues that are unique to family business.
It emphasizes best practices to achieve optimum business results while maintaining family harmony with programs on succession planning, preparing the next generation communication and conflict resolution governance, family dynamics, policy development, company, culture, and many more. The Stevens center for family business probes subjects that are vital to family owned enterprise.
Regardless of the size of the family business or the number of years in its history, the Stevens center for family business can be a valuable resource for helping to secure the ongoing legacy of multi-generational family businesses. The Stevens center for family business, where networking and knowledge meet to support the success of family own companies, both in their business pursuits and their family relationships For more information, please go to the website at svsu.edu/stevens center for family business or contact me Casey Stevens membership coordinator at 989-964-2776.
Cliff Duvernois: Hello everyone and welcome back. So Tyler, uh, the question I got for. Is, I gotta say, I love to see the entrepreneur at work to take advantages of the opportunities that present themselves. So we’re talking 800 acres of plants, and some of them you said were in containers or you start them off in containers.
I’m sorry, you said they’re all containers.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: No, we, it’s container and field grown. I don’t, I guess I don’t have like a percentage of what it is, but it’s drastically changed. When the, when the nursery first started, everything was field grown, right? That’s just how it was. And then as the industry changed and we needed to figure out ways to produce plants lighter.
You know, obviously people can grab so people can grab them and go. The, the container nursery production has just exploded throughout the country. So now we have container and feel grown product, cuz some stuff you just can’t grow in a container. It just needs to be out in the field, um, and some stuff needs to be in a container versus in the ground. So, uh, so.
Cliff Duvernois: Okay. So people can grab ’em and go certain.
Now with all of this container growth that is going on, obviously the first thing that pops to mind is water. I don’t think you guys are just sitting out there praying that it rains. You’re entrepreneurs, you’ve got a product that you’re selling, and you gotta make sure that you know you’re keeping alive, that they look healthy.
How did you overcome the challenge of getting enough water to sustain hundreds of acres of plants?
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Yeah, that’s a great question cuz with quite a bit of container production. Yeah. You can’t just sit there and do rain dance cuz it’s. We’d be going backwards. So, we have two large irrigation systems. There’s a Swan Creek, which runs right by us. We were, we’re thankful we’ve always been able to irrigate out of that.
Uh, and then I’d say mid two thousands there was a lake was right by the property that became for sale. So my dad and another, uh, gentle. Purchase that together. Uh, and it’s like 60 acres of water. So we use that too now to irrigate all the container stuff. And we have overhead water, which is simply just whizz, headss that spray out and they fall down like rain wood for.
Um, and then there’s certain plants that need more of a direct water at the base instead of the top. So we have what’s called drip irrigation where they’re just Black lines of water and then they drip out of emitters directly onto the plant so you can get more of a slow water release down to them.
So, but it’s a lot of water that we go through, you know?
Cliff Duvernois: the 600 acre lake that you’re talking about. Uh, you were mentioning before that it’s fed by a natural spring.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: yes, it’s spring fed. Yep. Which is great because it’s never gonna go completely down, you know, dry on us. So it’s. It’s a very good blessing that we were able to get that, even though we still can irrigate from Swan Creek that has gone dry before, uh, years ago. I remember as a kid, you know, you literally could walk across it.
So, and nowadays if that would happen, we, we’d be in some serious trouble. So having this lake, the Spring-Fed Lake was just a, a, an added bonus. As far as the irrigation goes,
Cliff Duvernois: And probably solve one of your biggest problems too.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: probably. Absolutely. Yeah. You don’t have plants or you don’t have plants if you don’t have water. You know, so.
Cliff Duvernois: Yeah, exactly.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Yeah.
Cliff Duvernois: So what I’d like to do is I’d like to go back to your story and you said that you graduated from college back in 2013, and then you jumped into the family business. What is it about Kluck Nursery that made you say to yourself, You know, I really wanna be a part of this.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: little bit. Yeah, it’s great. Great question. And I guess I wanna start out with, I was never forced to do this. My parents always, obviously my dad highly suggested, you know, and had me grow up in the nursery business, but it was never, set in stone, you know, Hey, you gotta do this. Which I think is very important because, you know, I feel maybe if some kids grow up in a family business, they might have the thought of, man, if I don’t.
You know, maybe my family won’t be happy. And that’s not the case in our business at all. We had, any option to go do whatever we wanted. I just, for myself, ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to do this and be part of this. So, growing up, I’d ride around in the truck with my grandpa, during the day, and then I would, as I got older, you know, after school I’d.
And work I’d, I’d, uh, pull weeds, , and just saw that, you know what, This is something I really wanna do. My, you know, the people before me were very successful. I love being outdoors. Uh, you can truly make a difference in people’s lives, I think with trees and plants by making their houses look nice.
Being able to see your product. At a business planted or at a house. And just to say, you know, we put a lot of time into growing that and to making it a beautiful landscape. And just to see while you’re working, you literally see the, your hard work paying off by the trees and shrubs growing.
So I never had a doubt that this is what I wanted to do and. Two years ago, I officially started buying into the business with my dad. So it’s real now. , there’s, there’s, there’s no turning back now, but yeah. Real skinny. Yeah, there’s real skin in the game, which obviously makes you think a little bit different Yes.
To, But yeah, like I said, was never forced into this and just truly just enjoy each day just being able to come in to work and to drive around. Just look at our product and keep it going.
Cliff Duvernois: I think it really shows, and you bring up an excellent point. It’s different when you want to be here versus when you feel like you have to be here. And uh, I mentioned the word before about it being an obligation because that is something that ultimately, I think for a lot of people, That you could come back and kind of resent after a while.
Correct? Yep. And I
So it’s really nice. You wanna be a part of this and it seems like you are more than ready to be a bigger part of this.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
Cliff Duvernois: Let’s talk a little bit about some of the offerings that you have here, because you told the story about how somebody pulled up to your, it was your great-grandfather, right?
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Offering, but yep. That’d have been my great-grandfather.
Cliff Duvernois: Yet pulled up to his house and said, Hey, I wanna cut down that tree for Christmas. So do you still sell Christmas trees here?
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Yes, absolutely. Big part of our business. And you asked earlier about you know, how we’re involved in the community and I think that the Christmas trees probably stands out the most, as far as being a service of the community.
Before I get too into it, a lot of the Christmas tree customers have no idea that we’re a nursery . Oh, wow. They think we just grow Christmas. Until they look more into it and, say, Wow, you know, never knew you had all, these landscape plants and shade trees. So, it’s just kind of a little story that it’s just funny because we see it every day.
They don’t see it. So, yeah. So as far as the Christmas trees, we still do that. Um, you know, we sell right around 5,500 trees a year, and that’s solely to retail choosing cut. We don’t do any whole. Christmas trees. So it’s a lot of work in about, you think about it in about three weeks. Uh, we open the day after Thanksgiving and usually by the middle of December people have their tree.
And each year it just seems to get earlier and earlier that people want the tree. So it’s a three week chaos basically, is what it is. By far the nursery is the biggest part of our business as far as, you know, financially and everything. But the busiest and the shortest amount of time, it’s Christmas cuz it’s just it’s just a bunch of people you know, in one spot.
And to be able to provide that service of a Christmas tree we have seen has just been awesome for our community. We hear it at our church, we hear it at events, we go. Clock nursery, the Christmas tree, you know, that’s what people think about us. So the thought of Christmas morning, you know, thousands of houses around us.
The center focus in their living room is a CLT nurse, Christmas tree which we take, you know, I guess good pride in that because it’s a long process. It’s about eight to 10 years to grow a Christmas tree. So there’s a lot of thought goes into it. A lot of work goes. And then just to see how happy families are that leave with their tree and that we had a little bit a part of that just makes you feel great at the end of the day, uh, when you’ve worked so hard and you’re tired and you just think about that, that Christmas morning, they’re looking at a CLS Christmas tree that came from Saginaw, Michigan, which I think is great.
Cliff Duvernois: One of the things that I personally have always enjoyed when I go somewhere to pick out my Christmas tree is that it, it always seems like there’s other events that are like, you know, like literally it becomes a big event. You got like in a food truck, there’s hot cider. Do you guys pull out the carpet for that stuff too?
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: want that? Uh, we do in a, I’d say small way. We don’t go crazy on that. We just kind of wanna more be the Christmas tree end of things. But we do offer on the weekends. We have a little concession stand that we sell, just some donuts, hot chocolate cookies cider out of.
And then we have a bonfire area that every single day we have that going for the customers. Uh, we have a straw fort that we build for the kids to climb and play on, which is always a hit. And we do free wagon ride. And then all the preparation of the tree of shaking it and wrapping it up, you know, that’s free of charge.
You know, we don’t charge for that. Uh, we, we will help tie trees on cars if people need a hand. Uh, so really from the time you pull in to the time you leave, you know, we’re just here to help. And we do offer like Reaves and Garland and, you know, some of the decorations. so haven’t got, Some places do the Santa and reindeer and whatnot.
We haven’t got that point yet. Not to, you know, who knows, But we’ve been doing this for almost a hundred years and it’s working really well and we’ve changed things along the way, like you have to. And it’s, it’s, it’s been great. We do do class field trips during the week for the local schools.
So I guess another, another way that we are out in the. We don’t charge for the field trip. Um, which a lot of the teachers, like when they find out, Oh, it’s free, I can bring 40 kids for free. You know? So that’s nice to keep trying to get these younger people in the, the kids and then that their parents come out with it too, and see, we have a Christmas tree farm and a nursery.
It, I guess it all goes back to, you know, the founders, they didn’t just throw this thing together, they put some thought into it. So that’s, Like you asked how it’s transitioned, it’s, I’m very thankful that a lot of this was put in way back in the day and now I can just continue to try to keep it going and make improvements cuz there’s always room for improvement.
Right? Yeah. And then the one thing I forgot to mention about with the Christmas trees is the popcorn ball. And if you ask somebody about CL nursery and getting their Christmas, They probably forget about the tree and they’ll ask you, Did you get your popcorn ball? So we give out free popcorn balls after they pay.
And it’s just been a tradition we’ve always had. And the kids obviously love it, but we think the adults like it a little bit more sometimes. Cuz they’re always asking, where’s the popcorn ball at? You know, Well you’re gonna get it when you pay. We gotta get your money first.
Cliff Duvernois: I can imagine a lot of these adults out there had that same experience when they were kids.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Absolutely. That’s a great point. You know, we’ve, we have people coming out with generations of Yes. Of, which is another really cool thing to see. You know, the grandpas out there with their kids and then their kids, and it just is a spiral effect that if we can keep that in these younger kids, Yes.
Someday they’re gonna be doing the same thing. So, It’s just a good feeling to see all the different ages and the generations of people who have been coming, getting trees for 50 plus years.
Cliff Duvernois: The term that you said before was tradition, and I love this term. When you sit back and you think about how somebody said, Hey, you know what? We should have a real Christmas tree, not a fake one. Then they come over here with their kids, they experience the popcorn ball and . They see, or you know, they see that, uh, that straw fort that you have built.
And now those kids have grown up and now they want their kids to experience the same thing. So I could almost imagine that, you know, they could even do that as a bribe for the Kips, you know? Well, you, if you’re a good boy or a good girl, you might be able to get a popcorn ball at the.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Well, probably yes. I, I, I, I would say that that’s probably a really good possibility.
Cliff Duvernois: And I would also like to think that when you’re over there experiencing it, because it’s like you said, it’s three weeks of chaos and obviously you’re in the middle of it, but to have somebody look at you and say, You know, I remember when my grandfather brought me here. And now I get to do this with my kids or with my grandchildren.
That has to be very satisfying.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: it’s very satisfying every time you hear the story, you know, it never gets old cuz each, each person’s perspective is a little bit different. And we’ve learned a lot from our customers, and like I said, there’s always things you can improve on, but a lot of the stuff, uh, maybe some of these.
Throughout, you know, you get from your customers cuz obviously you gotta listen to the customer. Right. They’re buying your product. So when you’ve got people that have been coming for that many years, you know, you gotta think about that too. And make the customer as happy as they could be.
Cliff Duvernois: Now you and I met through the Steven Center, and one of the things that has come up periodically in my interviews when we’re talking about multi-generational businesses, obviously, is transitioning the business from, you know, perhaps somebody who’s getting ready to retire to the younger generation and the way you’re going to, at some point in time, be handling this or handing this off to somebody else.
Through the Stevens Center. Why don’t you talk to us a little bit about how that’s been influencing you? How has it been helping your business and how you’ve been able to contribute?
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: The steep, Yeah, it’s, uh, like I mentioned to you earlier the Stephens Center, This is a, it’s a, it’s a wonderful thing to be a part of. Uh, we don’t get to go to all the events as we’re at the different times of the year. We’re, we’re still pretty busy, but what we do go to, we’ve wa we’ve walked away with a lot of different ideas and just, I guess it’s a good thing to be a part of, to see what.
People are doing what other people did that didn’t work. You know? Cause you, you have to look at that too. Yes. And just the speakers that they bring in to these events who have seen it all, it, it helps a lot. And you mentioned about the transition. We’re going through quite a bit of that right now.
We’ve had some of our key guys who have been with us for 40 plus years. They’re retiring. So the Steven Center helps b he is helping us try to build this next phase of the nursery. Especially for me, cuz you know, I’m gonna have to bring in, you know, a whole new look of things because a lot of these people who are retiring are going to retire.
We gotta replace with young good people, And the Stephen Center’s been a great. Tool, I guess we’ll say to listen just to how do you plan for success in a family business? We’ve even had some of our employees listen to some talks or podcasts that, that the Stephens give out. Instead of it just being dad and I there we want to include our employees with it, and they’ve been thankful to listen to what the Stevens Center brings, um, to us.
So, and just to hear. All the history and success stories of Broers and Zens beer line. Just to hear all those stories, it’s pretty cool to say that we can be a part of the group that the Stevens Center is, has made, and so we’re very thankful to be a part of it.
Cliff Duvernois: One thing that you brought up before is, The fact that you’ve got a lot of people here who have been here for four decades getting ready to retire, and one of the things that I know that has directly impacted me throughout my career is when somebody who’s been here for 40 years, they retire and you lose that knowledge.
So there’s this. Yeah, you’re, you’re scrambling to say to yourself, Wow, we need to get that knowledge transfer. Cuz like you said, these new people coming in don’t have four decades of experience. Some of them probably have four minutes of experience. So what does that process look like to go back and say, Hey, let’s capture, uh, what.
What you do to make sure that we’ve got your experience, like we were talking about before, going through the recession, right. And being able to trap that information. And like I said, you know what work, what didn’t work and you know, what does that process look like?
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s a scary process, you know, especially for me cuz I’m, just kind of coming into like the management ownership at the time. These key retirements, But we have hired a handful of younger people to build it back up. Um, you’re not gonna replace 40 years with one person.
Very rarely will you find that. So our plan right now is kind of get a group of core younger people to split up these tasks that these guys did for 40 years, that hopeful. They will do for 30 more years, 40 more years to have the same thing. But I’ll be honest, it’s been a tough transition.
Throw covid into all of it. The lack of labor into it. Price increases on everything. Wages, you gotta put all this into effect, but you still gotta have employees as well. So we’ve done. With retaining employees too, you know, which is a, a good feeling for us too, that, you know, we feel we’re doing something right too if they wanna be here every day and they wanna be here for 40 years.
So it’s, it’s been tough, but we are going in the right direction and I’m very thankful for the younger core that we’ve brought in. And within the last five to 10 years. That they are, they’re so dedicated and willing to help me as much as I, as we want them to help us. So, you know, overall it’s been pretty good and you just gotta keep working hard on getting good people and having good people around for the employees too.
You know, you don’t wanna work with people who have bad attitudes and so. Good family, I guess we’ll call it, instead of employees, we feel that they’re family to us. They’re giving up their time throughout the week to work for us and then, you know, to give them time with their families as well as if very important, um, that they have their time to.
So, but yeah, like I’ve said multiple times today, we’re just blessed with the, with our. So
Cliff Duvernois: Well, I think that’s a direct reflection because I say this because I thought I had the RO wrong location when I pulled up because this place doesn’t look like any nurseries I’ve ever seen. And trust me, I’ve seen like a bunch of ’em. But when I pulled up here, I really thought this was somebody’s house.
Because this place is just immaculate, and that says something about the employees that work here, that they care that much because obviously this is not the result of one person. When you’re talking about 500 acres, you were showing me these aerial photos of the farm and everything is just lined up.
Everything is just lined up nice. Like you could almost put a straight edge to all these different plants and everything just lined. Because that right there is because employees care, which is not something that you can buy.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: not, Absolutely not. No. And that’s, that’s a great point that you brought up. You know, we do, As a nursery, you’re selling plants. You’re selling trees. If your stuff doesn’t look nice in your sales yard or as you enter into the, our nursery, I mean, would you feel comfortable buying a tree if it looked half dead?
You know? So that’s very important to us and my, I remember my grandpa, he would constantly tell me, he goes, You gotta make sure that the front entrance sign is always looking. Why would someone want to pull into your business if the sign didn’t look good? Right. And at the time I’m, you know, you’re young, I’m young, and it’s, Oh, alright, grandpa, you know,
But you sit back and think, and that’s a simple thing that is very important. You know, you don’t want it to be a mess. And then as like, like you mentioned, I appreciate the comment of, you know, your first time being here and how you noticed that. Right. Uh, we take great pride in making everything look as best as it can, and the employees, you hit it on the nail that they care.
They care about the tractors, the golf carts, the trucks, the tractors, the big tractors. They drive the semi trucks. They take pride and they take care of them to so that they look nice, and so that we can keep this for multiple years instead of having to continue buying. Trucks, tractors, which you gotta wait so long for now anyways cuz it’s hard to get.
So our employees for sure take pride in keeping our nursery clean. So it’s, it’s a great to have that part of it cuz like you said, one person can’t take care of 500 acres or all the tractors, everything. So everybody takes care of what they do and it keeps it.
Cliff Duvernois: Tyler. If somebody’s listening to this and they’re now convinced they’ve gotta get their Christmas tree here, or they just want to come by and check out your facility, because it really is wonderful, what’s the best way for people to be able to connect with you online?
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: For people to be? Yeah, they can visit us at our website, uh, www.klucknursery.com. Uh, you can find us on Facebook or Instagram. We do a lot on Facebook as far as telling our story. That’s one thing I’m trying to do a little bit more of is, okay, they come here and they see the plant, they see the tree, but how did it get to that point?
So I’m trying to push that a little bit more to make it feel more of, uh, you know, like they were involved in the purchase, especially for Christmas as far as that. So those are the best ways to find out about us. Obviously stop on out. We’re located in Saginaw at 10 20 Van Warmer Road, and we’d be happy to have you come out and just walk around and take a look and see what we have to offer.
But those would be the best ways to find out about what we have going on here at our nursery.
Cliff Duvernois: Wonderful. And for our audience, we will have all of those links and the show notes down below. Tyler, it’s been awesome chatting with you today. I’ve learned a lot about, uh, Kluck Nursery and, uh, I really gotta say this. It really is beautiful. So thank you.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Yeah. Thank you very much for coming and again, for the Stevens Center to, uh, suggest that you came here. Uh, were honored for that and, uh, hope to keep having conversations like this in the future. My wife and I are expecting a little baby boy in February.
Cliff Duvernois: Oh, congratulations. You didn’t say anything about that.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: I was saving it for the end, you know,
Cliff Duvernois: Leave on a high note.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: out.
Yeah. Just honored that there’s the potential of a fifth generation.
Cliff Duvernois: There we go.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: we go. Um, to con maybe to continue this, again, he won’t be forced into this either, but we’re very excited for that to have five generations of Kluck around. You know, you, like you said, you don’t see many businesses get past the hundred, so, Yeah.
Real excited for that. So maybe you’ll be doing an interview with,
Cliff Duvernois: Oh, you never know.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: In a couple, in, in, in some years down the road. ,
Cliff Duvernois: You never know.
Thanks again, Tyler.
Tyler Kluck, Kluck Nursery: Tyler. Yeah, thank you very much.