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Stark Bro’s Nurseries Grows up with America

July 11, 2016

Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co. launched in 1816, five years before Missouri became a state. It is one of the oldest operating companies in the United States today.

“Businesses come and businesses go, for various reasons” said Elmer Kidd, Chief Production Officer at Stark Bro’s. “For any company or any organization to say they’ve made it 200 years is a tribute in itself. I’m proud of that.”

Stark Bro’s sells a variety of fruit and nut trees as well as garden plants and accessories. It brought the Red Delicious apple into prominence in 1893, although it was simply called the Delicious apple then. As the story goes, one of the Stark brothers took a bite and described it as “Delicious!” The name took root.

Years later, the company brought to market a golden version of the Delicious apple and named both varieties Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, respectively.

“Two-thirds of all the apples eaten in the world today are cousins of these two apples,” said Ken Lane, Chief Marketing Officer at Stark Bro’s. “Essentially they have the DNA of the Red Delicious or Golden Delicious apple in their DNA.”

Watch the video to find out the secret to Stark Bro’s success and to learn more about their rich history.


    LeAnn says:

    What a great story and video … this company has been around for 200 years. People’s grandparents and great-grandparents planted Stark Bro’s fruit trees, and they’re still producing beautiful fruit for their ancestors to enjoy. Amazing. Thanks for posting this!

    Claire says:

    Growing up I remember seeing the Stark catalogs in our mail every year. My mom had an amazing green thumb and we enjoyed the bounty of her hard labors every summer. Stark was a big part of that and it’s a joy to know that they are still going strong and FedEx is helping! Thank for sharing this!

    Mike says:

    Pretty cool. It makes me want to order with the company and see the fruits of my labor. 😉

    Matt says:

    Last spring I planted two apple trees (Gala & Honeycrisp) in my backyard from Stark Bros.

    Carol says:

    What a great story! Thank you for highlighting such a successful American company. My great grandfather sold Stark Bros. trees, and in 1940, my grandfather started an orchard in Lawrence County, Tennessee — full of Red and Yellow Delicious apples. And, added Gala apples in later years. This post brought back such sweet memories!

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