Twin City Seed was founded in 1992 by John Glattly, a veteran seed man from Oregon. John’s relationships in the Oregon seed business followed him to the Twin Cities where he established Twin City Seed Co. as a wholesale distributor of turfgrass seed. Over the years, John added many new products to the company including Farm Seeds, Native Plant Seeds and Erosion-control Products.
When it was time for John to retire, he sold the business to Paul Kubista and his wife Amy in 2016. Paul had joined TCS in 2011 and had a wonderful working relationship with John.
“When I bought the business, we were very focused on keeping our existing customer base,” said Paul. “I am proud that we were able to maintain all our customers and vendors…that some of them have been with us for 30 years! It was a strong foundation, and this team has done a great job adding to it.”
In fact, since 2016 TCS has added 30 percent to its customer base and doubled its revenue with a variety of new products, most notably its Bee Lawn Mix, the TWCA (Turfgrass Water Conservation) seed mixes, New Wildflower Mixes and Native Seed Mixes.
“The continuity of business has been important, and I think we’ve managed it because I value what John valued. I’m very relationship-oriented – our whole team is – and we have built upon and expanded the trusted relationships he established throughout the country.”
In addition to new product lines, Paul and Amy have added automation to the business with a bagging system and in this, its 30th year, TCS has added 10,000 square feet to its operations in the very same building John established the business 30 years ago.
To celebrate 30 years, TCS will be hosting an appreciation event later this year, and most notably, the company is donating 5% of its turfgrass sales to the University of Minnesota TROE Center for turfgrass science research for all of 2022. TCS chose to support this research because the U of M independently researches issues that are important to turfgrass managers in the Upper Midwest. Read more about this donation and TCS’s other community support projects.
This 30th year is the fifth anniversary of Paul and Amy’s ownership. What is Paul’s favorite memory of founder John Glattly?
“When all the negotiations were done, John and I were finalizing our deal and were signing the papers in front of our lawyers, he handed me something,” said Paul. “It was a framed tag. The very first tag he ever made for the company. It had been made on a typewriter and he framed and signed it. That is my favorite memory of John. We both start tearing up. I mean this company was his baby! He had grown it from the ground up and it was difficult for him to give it up. But at that moment, I knew he was proud of me and wanted me to have it. I’ve worked hard to honor John from that moment forward.”
So, what does Paul see for TCS in the next 30 years?
“We want to continue our momentum. We have a very good reputation for service and high-quality seed in the five-state area. By adding e-commerce with this beautiful new website, I want to establish this respected reputation with the rest of the country,” said Paul. “I’m so very grateful for the amazing employees that have helped us to build that reputation. They are very motivated to grow their knowledge and to be the best. So, we will also continually look at new markets. Our team wants to be the leader in the industry. ”