Passion Products

Posted On March 8, 2022

By Camdyn Bruce

When private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice acquired John Deere Landscapes in 2013 for 465 million, the plan was for John Deere to retain a 40 percent ownership stake in the company and, with its new partner, rapidly grow the business. The plan worked to a tee, and nearly a decade later, SiteOne Landscape Supply stands in the place of what once was John Deere Landscapes, and business is booming.

With two locations in the Columbia area, SiteOne Landscape Supply has become a top destination for anyone with an outdoor project. The business primarily sells landscape supplies to contractors, but they also do retail sales for people looking to do it themselves.  In fact, area business manager for the company, David Bucy, said that the SiteOne Hardscape Center in Columbia specializes in helping people find what they need to renovate their outdoor living spaces offering a wide array of products. Decorative aggregates and natural stone are a part of their primary offerings and they also have an expansive inventory of the region's most popular hardscape and nursery products. With experts on hand to help  make home owners' project ideas and inspirations reality, SiteOne will introduce them to professional contractors to design and execute those projects.

“That one location’s primary focus is anything outdoors -- from natural stone to manufactured hardscape products like brick pavers and wall blocks, to fireplaces, pizza ovens, grill islands, grills, artificial turf, etc.” 

In addition to the Hardscape Center, SiteOne has a four-acre nursery in Columbia which houses many varieties of plants and sizes suitable for the local climate. 

 The SiteOne Hardscape/Nursery location manager in Columbia, Ken Davidson, said that while their nursery houses more traditional plants, they are also branching out into southern living style horticulture, creating their own distinct new plant varieties. 

“We have our own labeled brand called Portfolio,” said Davidson. “It’s going to be a line of perennials, pendulums, some buddleia, some evergreens, and there will be new items out on the market that you can only get through SiteOne.” 

Davidson also said that the Columbia branch of the business has grown exponentially since he started working for the company. “Every year, we continue to grow. I don’t know if we double our business, but it increases rapidly,” said Davidson. 

As a national, publicly traded company with 40+ branches in the Carolinas and over 600 branches across the US and Canada, the numbers back David's assessment. According to their annual report from 2020, the company went from posting a net income of 77.7 million in 2019 to 121.3 million in 2020. Additionally, the company’s third-quarter 2021 numbers were promising, with 936 million in total sales compared to 751 million in the third quarter of 2020. The company is large but they operate locally with local quarries, growers, and products tailored to each community.

These numbers indicate that the business has not just survived during the pandemic, but it has thrived. Bucy said he believes this is because the pandemic gave people the opportunity and time to tackle passion projects they had put off in the past. 

“What we’ve seen is that as people slowed their traveling, they turned to their yard and specifically their backyard to create this outdoor oasis which plays perfectly into our business because that is our specialty,” said Bucy. “We’ve seen people designing outdoor fireplaces or outdoor pizza ovens and putting greens in their backyard and natural stone patios like never before.”

The Columbia branch sells two primary manufacturers for concrete Hardscape products. “Belgard and Techo-Bloc are our two manufactured pieces here that we sell which is a growing trend since probably the last two years,” said Davidson. “What we’ve seen has grown even possibly more rapidly is our natural stone, and our full line selection with everything from flagstone to veneer stone, which is kind of an extension of patios but just more on the natural piece of it.” 

Bucy said that going forward, he just wants SiteOne to inspire people to get creative and innovate their outdoor living spaces. 

“Our goal is just to create a space where people can come and touch and feel and just get inspired to begin their own creation journey,” said Bucy.  For more information, 803-851-6513 g