Colorado-owned and operated since 1952, Young’s Market and Garden Center is a fixture in Wheat Ridge, a suburb located northwest of Denver. Originally owned by Lester Young, the business was bought by Edward Becerra’s dad who in turn sold it to him in 1980. Since then, Ed has maintained the hands-on, small town customer service his loyal clientele and community have come to expect from this family-owned business.
Young’s Market and Garden Center has become a magnet for every type of gardener, from weekend warriors to weekday pros, thanks to Ed’s family tradition of providing a friendly, cozy, neighborhood garden center where personal attention and seasoned advice is always available. Having grown up in the business “always with dirt under my nails,” Ed offers a selection of locally-grown perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs for every season. During the warmer months, he adds a Farmer’s Market with fresh fruit, produce and other items from around Colorado. For major holidays, pumpkins, Christmas trees and Easter eggs decorate the store indoors and out.
Despite the successful growth of Ed’s family business, when the recession hit, sales went south. People pulled back on paying for landscaping and decor, and his business suffered. He visited local banks to get help but couldn’t get a loan to bridge cash flow. Chase Bank eventually referred him to Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) where he was able to get the financing he needed to stay afloat.
“We got a good loan at a good rate,” recalls Ed. “It helped get us through that bumpy period.”
Since that CEF loan in 2010, Ed’s business has rebounded and taken advantage of the growing housing market that has made the Denver metro area such a popular place to live. He also collaborates with his brother, who owns Abner’s Garden Center (previously owned by their dad) in Wheat Ridge, on purchasing and marketing efforts which have been cost-effective. Recently, his son-in-law started working for him joining his daughter, so keeping the business in the family for another generation seems a sure bet.
Returning to CEF does, too. “I would go back to CEF if I had to,” remarked Ed. “They helped keep me in business.”