August 2023 - 21

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR
KBK Garden
Center & Nursery
Saline, Michigan
kbkgardencenter.com
Year founded:
Kris Krause purchased an existing garden center
and renamed it KBK Garden Center in 2018. An already
established garden center, Kris was able to take it to the
next level and create a destination.
What is your garden center known for?
We have so many team members passionate about
gardening and anxious to share their knowledge. We strive
to keep on top of trends and potential issues in our area, and
encourage customers to make their dream garden grow.
Along with a great team of passionate plant people, we
are known for not only your regular landscape, perennial and
annual selections, but that we carry some unusual and hardto-find
items that diehard gardeners are looking for.
Having passion for our jobs is well known in the community.
This is important because we are able to help fit the perfect
plant with the location, diagnose issues customers are having
and help the many new gardeners be successful.
How did you build such a successful team?
Building a strong team takes a lot of " out of the box "
thinking. It's essential that our team has all the tools
necessary to do their jobs - from information and training
to literally the tools for them to use to keep everything
looking amazing.
Communication is also a must. A leader that is open to
new ideas is important, but, more importantly, a leader that
can take criticism and understand that we all have things to
learn and ways we can better communicate with our teams
is huge. If your team sees you doing the same jobs you're
asking them to do, no matter how cruddy, they are more
" We are able to help fit the perfect
plant with the location, diagnose
issues customers are having and
help the many new gardeners be
successful. "
likely to respect their leadership when they see them get
dirty and yuck and enjoy their job.
Our team actually loves working together. We care how each
is doing, are ready to pick up some slack if someone is having
a bad day and celebrate each other's high points as well.
Although we all have slightly different tasks, we make sure to
have regular check-ins so everyone is on the same page.
Flexibility is also an important part of a successful
team. More than half our team is either retirees that want
something to do who love gardening - adults ready to leave
the stress of an office for a more serene space - and high
school kids looking for that first job. Being able to be flexible
with things that come up in their schedules keeps them happy
so when they are here, they're here 110%.
Every season, there is that one new employee that
doesn't seem to gel. Just because we've got a team that
works well together doesn't mean there are no processes
in place. Even the best of employees can make a mistake or
have a situation that goes bad.
For situations between employees, we stress the importance
of them trying to work it out among themselves. Most times,
it's a miscommunication or a misunderstanding that can be
cleared up easily. If it needs to go to management, we have
a " three strikes and you're out " policy. The strike is a written
warning; we like to present it to the employee to try to clear up
any misunderstandings. It isn't fair to the other employees to
keep someone who is bringing the vibe and energy down; your
great team members will see that it is not being addressed,
and you will start seeing evidence within the team structure.
Photo courtesy of KBK Garden Center & Nursery.
LGRMAG.COM | 21
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http://www.kbkgardencenter.com http://www.LGRMAG.COM

August 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of August 2023

Editors' Letter
Table of Contents
Headlines
Calendar
Editors' Picks
Innovator of the Year: Meet the Lawn & Garden Retailer Innovators of the Year!
Special Advertising Section
Technology: Open-to-Buy Inventory Management Key for Retailers
Green Goods: Trial-Proven Produce
Product Focus: Garden Pharmacy
Marketplace
Ad Index
5 Minutes With ...: Ken Lain
August 2023 - 1
August 2023 - 2
August 2023 - 3
August 2023 - Editors' Letter
August 2023 - 5
August 2023 - Table of Contents
August 2023 - 7
August 2023 - Headlines
August 2023 - 9
August 2023 - 10
August 2023 - Calendar
August 2023 - Editors' Picks
August 2023 - 13
August 2023 - Innovator of the Year: Meet the Lawn & Garden Retailer Innovators of the Year!
August 2023 - 15
August 2023 - 16
August 2023 - 17
August 2023 - 18
August 2023 - 19
August 2023 - 20
August 2023 - 21
August 2023 - 22
August 2023 - 23
August 2023 - 24
August 2023 - 25
August 2023 - 26
August 2023 - 27
August 2023 - 28
August 2023 - 29
August 2023 - Special Advertising Section
August 2023 - 31
August 2023 - Technology: Open-to-Buy Inventory Management Key for Retailers
August 2023 - 33
August 2023 - Green Goods: Trial-Proven Produce
August 2023 - 35
August 2023 - 36
August 2023 - 37
August 2023 - 38
August 2023 - 39
August 2023 - 40
August 2023 - 41
August 2023 - Product Focus: Garden Pharmacy
August 2023 - 43
August 2023 - Marketplace
August 2023 - 45
August 2023 - 46
August 2023 - 47
August 2023 - Ad Index
August 2023 - 49
August 2023 - 5 Minutes With ...: Ken Lain
August 2023 - 51
August 2023 - 52
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/november-december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/september-october-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/march-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/january-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/thriveguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/november-december-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/september-october-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/august-2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/LGR/november-december-2019
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