Immigrating to the United States in 1963, a 16-year-old Angelo Petitti could have never imagined what lay ahead of him. Living with his Mother and Uncle, after high school, Angelo pursued a Political Science Degree at Kent State University, while working part time assisting a landscaper. Soon his passion for plants outweighed his interest in political science and Angelo traveled to Florida to take on a new endeavor…his own landscape business. A sweltering summer drove him back to Northeast Ohio where Angelo partnered with his brother Dominic to begin Petitti Landscape Company.
Working out of a small garage in Oakwood Village, Ohio, the Petitti brothers quickly found themselves out of room and began storing trees and shrubs in the driveway. Passersby began to stop and inquire about purchasing the plants and Petitti Garden Centers was born. Spring of 1971, where the garage once stood, the first official garden center was constructed and still serves as the flagship store at 24964 Broadway Avenue, Oakwood Village.
Currently, Petitti Garden Center owns retail garden centers in Oakwood Village, Avon, Strongsville, Tallmadge, Boardman, Bainbridge, and Mentor. Petitti’s also owns a 1000-acre nursery in Madison, Ohio and 32 acres of greenhouses in Columbia Station, Ohio. By propagating from seeds and cuttings, Ridge Manor and Casa Verde Growers produces 98% of the live product sold at the 9 Petitti Garden Centers. This translates into the greatest number of varieties and the largest selection of fresh, high quality plants available to the consumer.
In 1975 Angelo Petitti married Maria, a young woman who had immigrated in 1966 from the same hometown of Faeto. She became active in the business handling whatever needed to be done, such as payroll, receivables, cashiering and other tasks. Maria currently enjoys using her hobby in photography as a means for signage and eventually finishing a digital photo book of Petitti grown plants to be used for information in the stores. (Many of Maria’s photos can be found throughout this website.) In 1977, they had a son named Angelo G. (AJ), who now serves as President of Operations for Petitti Garden Centers. Daughter Andria came into the world in 1978, and in 1980, daughter Lisa arrived.
With experience of over 40 years as a garden center owner, and 30 years as a grower, Angelo Petitti has gained valuable plant knowledge…knowledge that he loves to share through the media. Early in the 1980’s Angelo Petitti began a gardening radio show in the Cleveland area on WERE AM. In 1994 thru 2001 he was involved with the weekly WRMR AM radio show Gardening with Angelo. That show moved to WDOK FM in 2001 where it ran until 2011. In 2011, Angelo added a second live Gardening with Angelo show on Sunday mornings on WTAM 1100 AM. Currently, over 30,000 gardening enthusiasts still tune in each Saturday to Gardening with Angelo, from 8:00AM-9:00AM on WTAM, 1100 AM, where Angelo answers callers gardening questions live on air. During segments on 2 different news broadcasts each week on WEWS, News Channel 5 Cleveland, Angelo Petitti and meteorologist, Mark Johnson tackle timely gardening issues for viewers. In 2003, Angelo’s son, AJ Petitti began hosting his own weekly gardening feature which airs on Cleveland’s FOX affiliate.