…owner and President of Canterbury Farms Nursery Peter Santangelo had becoming a farmer and nurseryman in his blood: his father operated his own retail nursery and landscaping business first in New York, then in New Port Richey, FL for many, many years. Peter was 7 when they all moved down.
The original family business.
Growing up, Peter was exposed to day-to-day operations of the family business and learned everything there is to know about the plant nursery and landscaping through his parents. Then at 17 years old he found himself to be the owner and President of his parents’ nursery. So, to say he’s been in the plant industry for over 35 years is truly no joke!
As Peter had to maintain a fully stocked retail nursery and to fulfill his landscape projects’ plant list, he would travel all around the state of Florida, trying to find the best plants, palms and trees for sale at his business.
Upon his travels, he became incredibly fond of the wholesale plant farmers and their business
operations. Then one day, he said “I too want to be a farmer.” So, in 1993 he acquired 20 acres of raw land in Hudson, Florida and his ultimate “farming” dream became one step closer.
Canterbury Farms then
By 1995 Peter had made the transition from retail nurseryman to wholesale nurseryman, and his farming dream came to fruition. In June of 1995 he began to cultivate the property one acre at a time along with his foreman Gary, who was Peter’s right hand man for 13 years in the retail nursery business.
Gary came with not only his man power, but also with his extensive horticultural knowledge.
They worked long, hot days, but by the end of the year they were making their first sales to retail nurseries, landscapers and local lawn care companies. Hence, Canterbury Farms Wholesale Nursery (name derived from neighboring subdivision) was officially open for business!
The Amigo. In time the farm expanded with the addition of another 23 acres of land. At some point Peter also came across his long lost friend, “Amigo”, a fiberglass statue of a young man with a sombrero. This same statue was his Father’s signature mark in front of his nursery for many, many years. He got lost in a business transition a long time ago and was finally found! The reunion didn’t come cheap, but the Amigo was back home, where he belonged.
Canterbury Farms now
In the past 15 years Peter and his employees have worked hard on “honing their craft” of growing Florida friendly woody ornamental plants, trees, vines and shrubs.
The Farm’s plants can be found throughout the Tampa Bay area in local business and residential landscapes; they are enjoyed by residents of apartment complexes, homeowner’s associations and many more.
Open to public. In 2008 Canterbury Farms opened its doors to homeowners and invited everyone to enjoy the farm’s low prices and quality trees and shrubs.
There were plenty of extremes throughout the years: freezes, hurricanes, droughts, downward economy… but the farm has stayed in business, thanks to the hard work of its staff and loyalty of its customers.