Garden Center Manager & Purchasing Manager
Kari Line had customer service experience from her work at Mercy Hospital as well as retail experience from working for Kohl’s Department Store prior to coming to Otten Bros. Kari wanted to combine her love for gardening with her interest in retail and customer service when she came to us in 2004. Kari considers the best part of her job helping customers find that ‘perfect’ item. She especially loves showing them all the fun and fabulous items Otten Bros. has brought in for the new season. Kari is an avid birder and gardener. Her favorite sales area at Otten Bros. is our birding department because, according to her, “we have the best selection of feeders, food and much more.”
Sue Thurber grew up next door to her father’s nursery & garden center. She loved learning about the plants & helping customers. This early exposure to growing up and working in a garden center shaped her future endeavors.
Sue attended Anoka-Hennepin Technical College and graduated with a certificate in Landscape Installation & Nursery Production. She is also a Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association Certified Professional.
She will readily admit to being a plant geek with a huge passion for perennials! Photography is another passion of Sue’s. She loves capturing close ups that show off the fine details of a plant’s beauty.
Helping a customer find the perfect plant for their garden is what makes Sue happy!
Garden Center Store Supervisor
Patty Ficker began her career with Otten Bros. in 1999 in the annual department with a desire to learn. After accumulating a wealth of knowledge on plants, fertilizers and plant remedies, Patty moved into our store as a supervisor. Patty prides herself on training our new staff about great customer service and passing on her knowledge in all aspects of the garden center. Ask Patty about plant remedies, grass seed, plants or anything else in the store; she loves to share her knowledge to make our customers better gardeners!
House Plants Supervisor
Berta Schmidt has been with Otten Bros. since 1987. According to Berta, at the time she began she had a ‘black thumb’, but a willingness to learn. She attended the University of Minnesota equivalent of Master Gardener program as part of her training for Otten Bros. Berta loves the seasonality of the garden center; “there’s always something new happening”. Gardeners old and new enjoy Berta’s knowledge and genuine encouragement in all plant growing endeavors!
Valerie Thies has a Child Psychology degree from the University of Minnesota and enjoyed a successful career in her field for many years. Val has been an avid vegetable gardener for many years, which is what brought her to Otten Bros. annual department. She’s been with Otten Bros. since 2007 and loves working with plants and helping customers with their vegetable gardening questions and annual containers and baskets.