ESD Announces Grand Opening of Expanded Zehr's Flowers and Landscaping

Project Supported by North Country Region Economic Development Council Created 11 New Jobs

May 4, 2018

Photos Available Here

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the grand opening of the newly expanded Zehr's Flowers and Landscaping in New Bremen, Lewis County. The second-generation, certified woman-owned small business built a new garden and commercial landscaping center, adding 11 new jobs and increasing its retail and greenhouse capabilities.

ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "By expanding its facilities and adding jobs to encourage future growth, Zehr's highlights the importance that small businesses and women-owned enterprises play in both the state and regional economies."

Zehr's started in 1984 as a roadside vegetable and plant stand, initially serving customers in Castorland, New Bremen, and the surrounding communities. In 2003, owner Samantha Widrick took control of the business, expanding its greenhouse offerings and adding a commercial landscaping arm to the business. Zehr's now serves customers across New York State, offering services including hydroseeding, plant installation and erosion control.

All plants sold in Zehr's retail garden center are all grown in their greenhouses. Approximately 90 percent of the company's commercial landscaping plants are grown in Lewis County, with as much as possible sourced from local growers. The expansion enables Zehr's to grow and provide more products to the retail industry and wholesale vendors. The company plans to hire and train additional employees for gardening and landscaping positions, with potential to advance and serve in supervisory roles.

Samantha Widrick, Zehr's Flowers and Landscaping owner, said, "Zehr's has been an important part of our family and community for nearly 35 years, and we're excited to welcome customers to help us celebrate the grand opening of our new facility. This project will help us grow all aspects of our business, and we thank the Regional Council for its support."

Zehr's invested more than $270,000 to build the 5,000-square foot facility, which includes a retail center and two greenhouses, on approximately seven acres of land. The company also hired 11 new employees, nearly tripling its workforce. Empire State Development has agreed to support this project with a $54,000 performance-based capital grant, recommended by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC) during Round VI of the Governor's regional council initiative.

Anthony G. Collins, President of Clarkson University and Co-Chair of the NCREDC, said, "Zehr's Flowers and Landscaping is a prime example of our regional commitment to nurture entrepreneurs through innovation and community-development infrastructure to realize the highest per capita rate of small business start-ups and expansions in New York State. The Governor’s commitment to giving each region an opportunity to prioritize bringing public and private investment together is making a difference in the North Country."

Larry Dolhof, Lewis County Board of Legislators Chair, said, "Lewis County would like to thank the Regional Council, along with the Governor and the State of New York, for their continuing support and investment in our community. We greatly appreciate their partnership in helping us with job creation and business expansion in our county. It is definitely a win for all."

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency ( The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NEW YORK," the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit  and



Adam Ostrowski | [email protected] | (518) 292-5148
ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313