Get to know Jack Sellew

Get to know Jack Sellew

Departments - Get to Know

Jack Sellew is the Wholesale Yard Manager at Prides Corner Farms. His passion for adventure, being outdoors and connecting with the people of the industry underscores why he loves horticulture.

November 4, 2022

Photo courtesy of Jack Sellew

NM: How did you get started in horticulture?

JS: I guess you can say it’s in my blood. My dad and my grandfather started the company in 1978, so since I’ve been born, it’s been part of my life.

NM: Do you have a first memory of being at the nursery?

JS: I have a funny first memory. I was probably 7 years old, and we had this event called Customer Appreciation Day where we would invite customers to come to the nursery. One year we hired a local helicopter touring company to come to the nursery to give tours. Of course, as a 6 or 7-year-old, I insisted on going on every single tour until the person running the event finally told me that I had to give my seat up so that some customers could get a tour of the nursery.

NM: You started your career at Prides Corner in 2009 working during your summer vacations throughout high school and parts of college. What did you learn during that time?

JS: Working there those summers, I got to know the business and the people who work there. Then when I started thinking about what I wanted to do in my life, I knew it was for me. It was an easy decision to want to come back and work at the company.

NM: You spent your first few months rotating through several production departments before landing in the wholesale yard. What was that like?

JS: After I graduated from the Horticulture department at Cornell, I came back to the business. I moved through each crop growing area for about two or three weeks during their busiest shipping time. I was able to see the farm in action, and I was so appreciative that we have this amazing workforce that rises to the occasion of this seasonal business.

NM: What do you do as Wholesale Yard Manager at Prides Corner Farms?

JS: I manage our two re-wholesale yards. We have one at our main location in Lebanon, Connecticut, and then six years ago we acquired a new re-wholesale yard about an hour away. I started at this new site six years ago when we bought it, and we’ve been able to build the team and grow the business 300% in the last six years. That’s what I’m most proud of. We also grow all of our ornamental grasses for Prides Corner at the satellite location, so we send about three trucks a day back to Lebanon full of grasses that then go out to all of our customers that are getting deliveries. So I do a little bit of growing, a little bit of sales, as well as managing the two yards. It’s like a miniature version of Prides Corner and it has allowed me to learn all the different aspects of our business at a smaller scale.

NM: Do you have a favorite ornamental grass?

JS: My favorite one is Panicum virgatum ‘Totem Pole’. It’s a new Proven Winners blue panicum that looks amazing.

NM: It looks like you’re into traveling and hiking… where were you in the photo on the Prides Corner Farms website?

JS: Yeah, I did an amazing road trip with two of my friends. We rented an RV, and we went through the southwest. I was hiking Angels Landing in Zion National Park. I love a good adventure and a good hike. Growing up my dad and my brother and I would do a backpacking trip in the Northeast, whether it be the White Mountains or the Adirondacks. We would camp out for three nights and hike 10 to 15 miles every day.

NM: What does being part of the family business mean to you?

JS: I feel very fortunate that I’m able to come into this business that my family has spent the last 45 years building. I have a 15-month-old son who I would love to be able to pass an even more successful business on to him. I feel fortunate that I have the opportunity to carry the torch with my brother, Ben, and we can build upon the success. We have a great relationship, and I’m lucky that we have each other to rely on as we embark on this journey.

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