History | Vite Greenhouses
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2610 Redbud Trail
Niles, MI 49120
 
Mon-Fri:8a - 8p8a - 8p9a - 1p
Saturday:8a - 6p8a - 8p9a - 1p
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October 7, 2022

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History

Vite Greenhouses is owned by brothers Jerome, Don, and Greg Vite. The company has a rich and interesting history that began with their father and mother, Bill and Madeline. Bill was already a third-generation vegetable farmer who sold his produce at the South Bend Farmer's Market and the roadside stand at the farm. He constructed his very first "hothouse" on a flat bed hay wagon for portability. The boys (and sister Vicki) planted cantaloupe seeds in Jiffy wafers; he'd start them early in the spring to get a head start for planting in the field at the earliest possible date. This practice helped him develop quite a muskmelon business selling wholesale to local grocers and at the Benton Harbor produce market as well as retail at Market and the farm stand. The kids provided vital help while still at home but eventually each left for college in the early 1980's and then their own ways into the corporate world and far away from the farm. Don ended up in Chicago, Greg in Statesville, NC, and Jerome in Grand Rapids, MI.


Bill and Madeline - 1989
Bill and Maddy "retooled" and built three small wooden greenhouses where they grew tomatoes and seedless cucumbers with great success. Those first greenhouse experiences led to growing bedding plants and vegetable plants and selling them at their roadside farm stand and at the South Bend Farmer's Market, and then their new retail greenhouse built in the late 1980s. It is worth noting Bill and Madeline constructed the greenhouse and painted every board - frame and benches - and Bill hand-painted every sign.

Bill and Madeline - 1989

In the course of time, each son left his career in the marketplace and migrated back to the farm with their own families to join in the greenhouse operation. Today, the brothers and their families are neighbors to each other and live on the farm they grew up on. The continued success of Vite Greenhouses is a result of the values each family shares: Faith in God, commitment to family, and hard work.

Bill and Madelines's 50th Anniversary celebration - August 6, 2011
Bill and Madelines's 60th Anniversary celebration - August 6, 2021

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