Entrepreneur Success Breakfast with Local Business Owner

December invite

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Great Lakes Growers emerged from humble beginnings. In 2011, John Bonner began the companies development by operating out of a 300 square foot, wood framed, double poly greenhouse structure. The initial objective was to grow hydroponic leafy greens inside a greenhouse and achieve the lowest possible unit cost. Several successful steps into larger venues and greater production possibilities followed. Sales expanded exponentially. The company purchased 17 acres of flat farm land and designed and built the 60,000 square foot facility that Great Lakes Growers operates today. The first crop rolled off the line on Decembers 27th, 2012.

John received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Capital University in 2000 with a concentration in Finance and Economics. After working with his father in some family businesses, he began the task of managing the family’s greenhouse operation, Eagle Creek Growers, which specialized in bedding plant production.

In 2008, he was recognized by Greenhouse Grower Magazine, a leading national industry publication, as “One to Watch” for his progressive greenhouse production approach and implementation of sustainable energy solutions.

In 2009, John (along with his sister Jill Cain) was recognized by Crain’s Cleveland Business, the premier business publication for Northeast Ohio as a member of their annual “40 under 40” class acknowledging the top 40 individuals who have reached the top of their fields before reaching their 40th birthdays. At 30 years of age in 2009, he remains one of the youngest recipients ever.

In 2009, Eagle Creek became Veriflora certified and also received the Crain’s “Emerald Award” for businesses with less than $10 million in annual revenues. The award recognizes the top businesses in Northeast Ohio and their commitment to the triple bottom line: Plant, People and Profitability.

John resides in Burton, Ohio with his wife Kara and two daughters, Lola and Belle.

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