John Hoffman announces retirement
Added on 23 January 2023
Hoffman Nursery has announced the retirement of co-owner, John Hoffman as of Jan. 1. Co-owner Jill Hoffman will remain as president and CEO, and David Hoffman will continue as vice president and chief operating officer.
John Hoffman has spent over 40 years in the horticulture industry. In 1981, he started a design-installation firm called Landscapes by Hoffman. Shortly afterward, he discovered ornamental grasses. Grasses weren’t widely used in the U.S. in the 1980s; however, Europe had already embraced them. John traveled to Germany and was fortunate to meet with the late plant breeder, Ernst Pagels. Pagels’ enthusiasm for grasses and grass-filled gardens kindled John’s interest. John also gained inspiration from his mentor, the late J.C. Raulston at North Carolina State University. J.C. believed grasses would become popular and encouraged John to pursue his interest. The more John learned, the more his passion for grasses intensified.
In partnership with his wife, Jill, John transitioned from landscaping to growing in 1986. Hoffman Nursery was established on a 45-acre former tobacco farm in rural Rougemont, North Carolina. John personally delivered their first crops—grasses in large, finished sizes— in rented box trucks. Before long, the Hoffmans constructed their first hoop house, which allowed them to work through the intricacies of producing small, liner plants.
Photo: After 40 years in horticulture, John Hoffman is stepping down.