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Business Observer Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 8 years ago

Hibbs Garden bought, renamed

Robert Albritton and Benjamin Strong purchased the 3-acre garden center.

SARASOTA -- Robert Albritton and Benjamin Strong purchased Hibbs Farm and Garden Supply from Jeff and Carrie Hibbs this week. The new buyers have also renamed the company, which is now called Your Farm and Garden.

The 3-acre garden and outdoor supply retailer generated roughly $3 million in sales over the past 12 months, the new owners estimate.

The purchase represents a return to the outdoor retail industry for the owners -- both spent years with Albritton Fruit Co., a local operation that manages 1,500 acres of orange groves and seven retail stores.

A part owner of the fruit company at one time, Albritton sold his stake in the family firm in 2002. He and his wife opened a Dollar Store shortly thereafter, and ran it for three years. But Albritton says he was always interested in Hibbs Farm and Garden, and was intent on talking to the owners should the business ever go up for sale. That opportunity presented itself recently, as Jeff Hibbs finalized plans for his retirement from the local fire department.

Beyond renaming the company, Albritton says he will look to compete with big name retailers in the area by repositioning Your Farm and Garden's plant inventory. He will also reduce the number of vendors involved in the company's supply chain, in an attempt to be more price competitive with other garden stores.

Your Farm and Garden employs roughly 30 workers at its Beneva Road location.

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