FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — Kerry’s Nursery, one of the larger flower growers in Florida, was exhibiting at the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition here in a large and stylish booth, although it is facing a foreclosure lawsuit on 128 acres of property in Homestead and Apopka, FL. The South Florida Business Journal reported Jan. 14 that the legal action was filed late last year by the Florida Federal Land Bank Association.
Kerry Herndon, founder and managing officer of the company, said that he expects the lawsuit to be resolved so that Kerry’s can continue to do business selling orchids and bromeliads as fashionable décor for home and office. “I expect a fair and good outcome from the lawsuit,” he calmly told The Produce News at his TPIE show booth. “I hope and plan to continue in business.”A representative of the Farm Credit Associations of Florida, exhibiting at the same show, said he was familiar with the lawsuit, but could not comment on it. The Business Journal reported in mid-January that the lawsuit concerns two mortgages issued for $7.1 million and $5 million in 2002 by Farm Credit, a member-owned agricultural lending organization. The nursery received future advances of $350,000 in 2007 and $296,000 in 2010, the newspaper stated.
Kerry’s has more than 2.8 million square feet of greenhouses for its inventory of 5 million orchids and 2 million bromeliads. Even the cement floors in Kerry’s greenhouses are painted in the company’s signature shade of sky-blue. Its flowers are sold throughout the country at retailers such as Publix, Home Depot, Costco, Kroger, Safeway and Trader Joe’s.
Mr. Herndon is a veteran of about three decades in the floral industry and he is fond of saying, “We don’t just sell flowers and plants. Our focus is on building finished products which create compelling, living home fashion.”