Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture

Fallbrook Couple Named College of Agriculture 2016 Distinguished Alumni

Published Date: Apr 26, 2016 10:00:00 AM

The Godfreys

Tony and Sue Godfrey, Class of '69 and '70, President and Vice President, Olive Hill Greenhouses Inc.

A friendship that began at Cal Poly Pomona nearly 50 years ago blossomed into a personal and professional partnership that continues to thrive for Tony and Sue Godfrey.

The couple owns Olive Hill Greenhouses in Fallbrook, Calif., which grows indoor houseplants such as bromeliads, anthuriums, ferns and pothos. The company employs 80 workers and sells primarily to interiorscapers, wholesalers, and a few retail nurseries and florists in the Los Angeles-San Diego area, but also throughout the western United States. It has been recognized as one of the 100 largest-grossing nurseries in the country. 

Tony and Sue were honored by the San Diego Botanic Gardens with the 2015 Paul Ecke Jr. Award of Excellence at the annual gala. In addition, Tony was honored as the San Diego County Flower and Plant Association's Outstanding Person of the Year in 2005 and was inducted into the Interiorscape Hall of Fame for Allied Trade in 2007.The floral connection between the two began in the 1960s at Cal Poly Pomona. Tony earned a bachelor’s in agronomy in 1969 and the former Sue Boyer received a bachelor’s in foods and nutrition in 1970. Along with other activities, the two ran the campus flower shop for a year.

Sue went on to graduate from the internship/master's program at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo., in 1971, pass the California Dietitians licensing exam that year and became a consulting dietitian for nursing homes. Tony, meanwhile, started working at Cal Vine Nursery, growing young potted grapevines that had been heat-treated by UC Davis to rid them of diseases. The company sold these young plants to vineyards mainly along the Central Coast.

Tony and Sue were married in 1973 and moved to Fallbrook, where they continued in their day jobs while growing their nursery business. After a few months, they decided to work full time in their own nursery operation, which has now been in business for 43 years.

Married for 42 years, the couple has two daughters, Denise and Kristina, both of whom are involved with agricultural endeavors.