In 1885, Ashbel Merrel Leonard started a nursery as a hobby in his backyard in Piqua, Ohio. By 1912 he and his sons Parker and Stanley established A.M. Leonard & Sons as a nursery/landscaping service. The business was further developed in 1928 when A. M. and his youngest son John started a wholesale horticultural tool and supply company serving nursery and landscape customers. In 1941, following the death of A. M. Leonard, John became the President of the company. John’s forte was customer service. He mailed out 7,500 pocket-sized catalogs per year and monitored the purchases of each customer. John kept impeccable notes. When an order was not received from a customer within a year, John would contact the customer personally to ask how his organization might be of better service. The call usually resulted in a sale. Since only the finest quality tools were offered, customers always knew that when they bought something from the Piqua based company, they would receive the highest quality.
Howard Kyle became a partner with John Leonard in February 1964. Like the Leonard’s, Howard had a strong background in the nursery and mail order businesses. His family owned Springhill Nursery in Tipp City, Ohio. Howard quickly learned the A. M. Leonard operation. Ill health caused John Leonard to retire early, and Howard took over as sole owner inheriting a staff of 8. Howard and the staff expanded the catalog and merchandising operations emphasizing customer service, product dependability, and fast order response serving growers, landscapers, foresters, arborists, contractors, golf courses, resorts, grounds management and gardeners. In 1979 continuous growth caused the company to move again to a 20,000 square foot facility with 15 employees. Fourteen years later, in November of 1993, the company made a major commitment to its customers and the community by constructing a new 50,000 square foot facility.
In 1996, A.M. Leonard produced its first Retail Catalog to reach the serious home gardener. In 2005, as this segment of the business continued to grow, A.M. Leonard re-introduced the Retail publication as A.M. Leonard’s Gardeners Edge, offering gardeners the quality and selection they couldn’t find locally.
In 1999, A.M. Leonard introduced an industry exclusive Corporate Account Program. This service provides their professional customers with a dedicated Account Manager (single point of contact) who is truly devoted to learning and understanding their business and is invested in their continued success. Their goal will always be to meet or exceed your needs and expectations.
Also in 1999, A.M. Leonard introduced its line of A.M. Leonard Brand Tools. The A.M. Leonard line of tools offers the quality and features that most manufacturers aren’t willing to make — all at a price that saves money and helps produce results you can stand behind.
The Internet has added another exciting dimension to the daily business activity at A.M. Leonard as their presence there continues to grow with two company web sites and sales through Amazon.com.
A.M. Leonard keeps in close touch with local customers through their Counter Sales in the company Showroom. Here professionals and homeowners enjoy picking up their product on the spot and getting right back to the job.
In May 2005 Howard Kyle passed away at the age of 94 while still working six days a week. Today, under the leadership of Gregory Stephens, grandson of Howard Kyle, A.M. Leonard’s state-of-the-art Distribution facility has expanded to over 100,000 square feet with more than 100 dedicated employees. A. M. Leonard, Inc. continues today as a leader in the horticultural tool and supply business with emphasis on doing business the “old fashioned way”. They offer quality products, superior customer service and a selection of over 7,000 items.
A.M. Leonard understands customers have a choice on where to shop and pledges to continue its tradition of exceptional products and service.