(August 2020) – Bonnie Plants, Inc. (Bonnie) is breaking ground on a new state-of-the-art corporate headquarters building that will bring about 60 jobs to Opelika, Alabama. In addition, Bonnie and Auburn University (AU) have entered into a formal partnership with investments by Bonnie across several key areas of the university – including the Harbert College of Business and the College of Agriculture.
Relocating Bonnie’s headquarters from Union Springs to the Auburn-Opelika area will be used to help enhance associate recruiting and retention efforts as the company continues to grow and expand.
“The decision to relocate to Opelika was made easier by the strong partnership and support we received from city leadership,” said Mike Sutterer, CEO of Bonnie.
The new Bonnie building, which is slated to open late 2021, will be in the Tiger Town Corporate Park in Opelika, Alabama and will include several sustainable features including a 10-foot high indoor living wall that will naturally purify air in the office.
“I am pleased to welcome Bonnie Plants to our community. We are honored that a long-standing company like Bonnie is making an investment in our local economy. This will bring jobs and enhance the quality of life for the residents of Opelika,” said Mayor Gary Fuller.
The move to Opelika will also facilitate Bonnie’s new partnership with Auburn University. This partnership will create additional awareness of Bonnie as a potential employer for Auburn students and alumni with the goal of increasing internships and full-time recruiting.
“Auburn University is nationally recognized with strong, talented faculty, student and alumni networks, and is an ideal partner for Bonnie and its future,” Sutterer said.
Bonnie Plants has made a gift to support two newly endowed scholarships at Auburn that will be given annually, one to a student in the Harbert College of Business studying business analytics and the other in the College of Agriculture for a student majoring in horticulture.
This partnership also includes support for Auburn’s Center for Supply Chain Innovation. Bonnie will participate with several other major companies in a public-private partnership to foster innovation and technology advancements in supply chain – a mission-critical function for Bonnie.
Additionally, this partnership will give Bonnie the opportunity to focus on recruiting interns and full-time positions that will ensure Bonnie can continue to attract the most talented students and alumni to join the Bonnie team. This will include working with the central career center and the career center in the Harbert College of Business.
“We are grateful for this commitment from Bonnie Plants to not only support our students and faculty, but also to partner with our Center for Supply Chain Innovation,” said Annette L. Ranft, dean of the Harbert College of Business. “The supply chain program is ranked among the top in the country, while business analytics is among our fastest growing programs. This investment will increase our ability to remain at the forefront of research and discovery as we prepare students to meet future industry challenges.”
Bonnie will focus on engagement with students and faculty to help solve real-world challenges in areas such as product development, logistics and analytics. This will include guest speakers for the classroom and faculty events. Bonnie will also provide in-kind support for multiple gardens across campus and outreach projects.
Bonnie Plants is the leading brand of live vegetable and herb plants for home gardeners in the United States. Bonnie was founded in 1918 on the principle of providing access for home gardeners to grow fresh food. What started as one small farm in Union Springs, Alabama, has grown to a national brand with 4,000 peak season associates and over 80 greenhouse growing operations, selling plants in all 50 states. Bonnie plants are available at all major retailers along with direct-to-consumer sales through www.bonnieplants.com.