Country Nursery owner passes the torch to next generation


As of Oct. 20 Country Nursery is under new ownership. After over 35 years, long-time owner Mike Lutt passed the business to two of his employees.

"I just wanted to do something different. I've done this forever and just thought it'd be nice, while I'm still young enough, to do something else," Lutt said.

Though he's just stepping away in 2020, Lutt said he's been thinking about moving off for a few years, but he wanted to make sure the transition was done right.

"It takes somebody with a background in knowing what's going on, and these two do," Lutt said. "Jared's very talented in what he does and he's very particular in what he does...and for Tara, she's the best multi-tasker I've ever seen," Lutt said.

Both Nelson and Klausen have had plenty of time to impress Lutt. Klausen joined Country Nursery nine years ago, while Nelson began working there part-time at the age of 14 and hasn't stopped. To even the uninitiated, it's easy to see that Nelson and Klausen enjoy their work, and that has put Lutt at ease with moving on.

"When it's something I'm walking away from it's exciting to see somebody else that can handle it," Lutt

When Lutt offered them the opportunity, both Klausen and Nelson jumped.

"We're humbled at the opportunity to do this because it's not everyday that you get the chance to do this," Klausen said. "We didn't want anyone else to buy it because we have really good employees."

"We've done a lot to build it to this point and to just have someone walk in and take over didn't seem right," Nelson added.

While the business is in new hands, that doesn't mean much will change. Both new owners praise Lutt for building Country Nursery into what it is now.

"You can't fix something that's not broken," Klausen said.

That's a sentiment shared by her new business partner.

"Mike's done something right all these years to build it to what it is so you'd be a fool to change too much. For the most part it will be business as usual," Nelson said.

Country Nursery isn't slowing down during the transitional period. Klausen said they still have a pool to install and lots of work to be done. Luckily for the Country Nursery staff, including the new owners, it's pretty clear job satisfaction and customer satisfaction is high.

"I think the coolest thing is that a customer calls you and they're in need of help with something that looks really nasty most of the time, and we go and meet with them and they have all of these ideas and then we put it together on a design and it's just on a piece of paper. Then Jared or our foreman or whoever goes out and when we go back the next year or they take pictures when they're done, it's amazing," Klausen said. "I think that's really cool and why the foremen really love their job too, to make something so ugly turn out to be something so beautiful. Today backyard spaces or places were friends and family can hang out is such a huge treasure and we hope to create that for your backyard." 

For more information about Country Nursery or their services, contact them at (402) 375-4643 or find them online at