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Our History

Growing Since 1913™

Over a century ago, Edward, Oscar, and George Albert (Al) Hecklinger built a six-acre greenhouse next to their family’s home at 1914 Seaman Street.  Following their retirements and deaths, sons Donald, Dale, and Robert took over the business. In those early years, the business grew hothouse tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers which were sold through a co-op called Toledo Greenhouse Association.  They also grew potatoes at their farm in Adrian, Michigan.  All tomato plants were grown from seed in flats, transplanted to pots, then planted into soil inside the greenhouses by hand.  The tomato plants yielded approximately 15,000 eight pound baskets per acre!  Just as it is today, weather played a large part in the production.

The Hecklingers were always generous.  As much as they could they gave back to the community including many donations of vegetables to the Lutheran Orphans' and Old Folks’ Home Society of Toledo. In this way and many others, Hecklinger Greenhouse became a trusted part of East Toledo.

In 1971, when grocers started buying more vegetables from California and Florida, Don, Dale, and Bob made the decision to switch to growing bedding plants - flowers.  They grew the flowers in a similar way as the tomatoes, transplanting from seed and plugs to fill flats and pots. The family began selling wholesale bedding plants, mainly to large garden centers in the East.  Initial shipments were made to warmer climates such as Washington, D.C. and Virginia.

Dale’s son, Mark became the owner and operator of the now almost nine acre Hecklinger Greenhouse, Inc. in 1986. Taking over such a strong, productive family business alone was not easy but Uncle Don, Uncle Bob, and Mark’s Dad, Dale taught Mark the ins and outs of growing, selling, and distributing the vegetables, herbs, and flowers.  Mark is now training his youngest son, Mason to take over the family business, becoming a four-generation entity.

In 2014, Mark and his wife Lisa began renting and operating a retail greenhouse at Schweizer’s on the corner of Seaman and Lallendorf in Oregon, Ohio.  The Schweizers and their longstanding history in Oregon were such a blessing! Verlene and Bill Schweizer were vitally instrumental in helping Mark and Lisa enter a new area of selling and for the first time since 1913, Hecklinger Greenhouse established a retail presence. The response has been wonderful and the family is very grateful!

Hecklinger’s Greenhouse is known for marketing healthy, beautiful varieties of vegetables, herbs, perennials, and annuals.  With the expansion of the retail store, houseplants have also been added.  Hecklinger’s focus continues to be “customers first” with an emphasis on personal, friendly customer service, consumer education, and community involvement.

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