Cavano’s Perennials, Inc. began in 1972 as a small cut flower business on a five-acre farm in Kingsville, Maryland (Baltimore County).
George Cavano owned a business at a market in Baltimore City, selling house plants and cut flowers. To supply that business, George and Marlene Cavano began growing cut flowers and “field” mums.
In addition to the market, they sold flowers right from the farm itself. In 1978 they built a heated greenhouse for seed starting and to grow house plants. Marlene decided to start growing perennials in the field for use as cut flowers. This was long before perennials began to enjoy their current popularity.
Some of their customers began requesting some of the perennials be made available in pots, so they did. Soon they produced more than they could sell at the farm, so George hit the road and began selling perennials to garden centers. Landscapers also began to discover the Cavano’s nursery.
After some time, George sold his business at the market and began to focus on the growing operation. During that time, perennials became their primary focus. In 1980, George and Marlene incorporated and became officially Cavano’s Perennials, Inc.
In 1990, the Cavano’s recruited Marlene’s son, Tom Hensler, into the business. Tom spent several years learning the business, and then took over the company as George and Marlene approached retirement age.
In 1996, Tom Hensler purchased a nearby 25-acre property, and one year later began building a completely new growing facility. Cavano’s Perennials continues to grow plants at their original farm, in addition to the new facility.
In 1998 Ferenc Kiss, born and raised in Switzerland, joined Cavano’s after immigrating to the United States in 1995. After completing several internships at Bluemount Nurseries in Monkton, Maryland and meeting his mentor Richard Simon, Ferenc found a love of perennial production in North America. Ferenc and his business partner, Taylor Pilker, purchased the business in 2015 after working side by side for seven years and becoming good friends. Taylor has experience in the corporate world and their varied backgrounds complement each other well.
Today, operating from two locations, Cavano’s Perennials Inc. is a thriving and growing wholesale to the trade nursery/greenhouse operation with over 50 employees, growing more than 1,700 varieties of plants. Cavano’s plants are purchased by garden centers, landscape contractors, re-wholesalers, and municipalities throughout the eastern United States.
- PPA Grower Of The Year 2017
- 2018 Greenhouse Greats
- Horticultural Industries Leadership Wards (Ferenc Kiss, 2021)