The Story of Hans & Gretl
As a small child, Hans Britsch was the first to find spring wildflowers on the slopes and in the meadows of the Swiss Alps. He attended an agricultural school in Valais, followed by an apprenticeship where he learned to graft plants. Hans met the love of his life, Margarethe "Gretl" Maria Berner, on a blind date in Switzerland. On September 29, 1962, Hans and Gretl were married. Two years later, Hans and Gretl immigrated to California in search of a place with year-round spring weather. Hans arrived first, crossing the Atlantic Ocean by ship with his blue VW Bug in tow. In 1966, by chance, they met a Swiss couple who owned a nursery. Hans and Gretl bought their nursery and renamed it Western Cactus Growers.
Western Cactus Today
In 1988 Hans and Gretl’s son, Thomas, joined Western Cactus. Having grown up on the nursery as a child, Thomas first-hand understood the complexities of growing cacti & succulent plants. With an in-depth understanding of operations and business, Thomas grew Western Cactus into a reliable source of high-quality cactus and succulent plants for big box retailers. His son, Nico, entered the business in 2020 to expand internet sales with his site Succulent Market. Nico has a thorough understanding of drop shipping and help run day-to-day operations.
The Story of
California Plant Company
In 2009, Darin Pines foresaw a demand for high-quality Aloe Vera and Jade succulents that were grown in the proper environment. Joining forces with Thomas Britsch, Darin started California Plant Company AKA “CalPlant” to produce the best Jade and Aloe Vera plants in the United States. Thirteen years later, CalPlant boasts 4 locations across 95 Acres that focuses purely on the propagation and growth of Aloe Vera, Jade, and Ficus Ginseng.
Around 2012, Darin Pines noticed a rise in demand for Organic products. To pursue this demand, CalPlant began growing Organic Aloe Vera by completely removing chemicals from its growing process. The result: CalPlant is the only grower able to mass-produce hardy thick leaved Organic Aloe-Vera.
Fun Facts About CalPlant:
- CalPlant has the largest Aloe Vera Field in North America
- CalPlant is the largest grower of Jade in North America