Seed company moving to Schoharie County
D. Landreth will mark its 230th year in business
SHARON SPRINGS An historic company that sells seeds for landscaping and gardening will mark its 230th consecutive year in business from a fitting location in 2014 — the Schoharie County village of Sharon Springs.
The Pennsylvania-based D. Landreth Seed Co. is moving into the former Thunder Custom building on U.S. Route 20 while storing some products at the former Guilford Mills facility in Cobleskill.
Though the company has been based in Pennsylvania, owner Barbara Melera said her husband, Peter, has lived in Schoharie County since he was 11 years old.
Landreth Seed Co. has participated in community events in Sharon Springs for several years, and Melera this week said she’ll be happy to be closer to home following the move.
“We’re really excited to be here,” Melera said.
The Melera family purchased the historic D. Landreth Seed Co. in September 2003, according to newsletters the company publishes on its Web site at www.landrethseeds.com.
Established in 1784, the company promotes itself as “The Oldest Seed House In America.”
David Landreth founded the firm in January 1784, opening a store in Philadelphia to sell trees and shrubs, vegetable, flower and herb seeds and farming equipment.
Melera said the decision to move was made easier with the help of Schoharie County Industrial Development Agency Director Ron Filmer and Sharon Springs real estate agent Mary Ann Larkin, both of whom she said went “beyond the call” to assist with the move.
“They worked so hard purely because they thought it was good for their community,” Melera said.
The company has not requested economic development incentives the IDA provides, such as payment in lieu of taxes or other tax breaks, Filmer said.
The move comes at a busy time for the business — people are already ordering seeds for their 2014 gardens.
Melera said the company offers more than 900 varieties of heirloom seeds — the ones that aren’t genetically modified which produce more seeds that can be used for planting — in addition to non-heirloom seeds.
A retail outlet in the building is expected to create between five and seven jobs not including seasonal workers, Melera said.
The new shop will give guests a rare sight, she said.
“They can walk into this store as opposed to any other store in New England and just see volumes and volumes of different varieties of seeds. They’ll never see that anyplace else,” Melera said.
The business’ plans to operate in the village is the second piece of good news coming in over the past month, Sharon Springs Mayor Doug Plummer said last week.
A downstate investor and owner of Sharon Springs Inc. submitted draft plans to in early December for restoration project at the historic Imperial Baths facility with plans for an investment of between $5 and $7 million.