Local company is state rock star

Published 10:26 am Thursday, March 16, 2017

By Jennifer Shrader



ATLANTA  – Atlas Turf International was one of four businesses in Georgia recognized as a “Small Business Rock Star” at a ceremony Monday.


“It’s quite an honor,” said Catherine Holmes, who owns the business with her husband John.


Atlas Turf applied for the recognition after being recommended by Page Estes, president of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce, for the honor.


“This is such an honor for one of our businesses to be recognized,” Estes said.


Atlas Turf was founded in 2011 and exports specialty turf grasses internationally, particularly to golf courses. The grass is grown at two farms, one in South Georgia and one in South Carolina.


“Ninety percent of our business is outside the U.S.” Holmes said. The recognition could help the Holmes’ with networking, at the ceremony Monday the couple sat next to representatives from Brazil.


“That’s a country we’d love to do more business with,” she said.


The company’s turfgrass is shipped to more than 40 countries, including the Maldives, New Caledonia, the Seychelles and Turkmenistan.


The recognition comes as part of the state’s Small Business Week celebration. Governor Nathan Deal declared March 13-17 as Georgia Small Business Week to celebrate the achievements made my small businesses throughout the state.



“Georgia’s more than 650,000 small businesses have a huge impact in every community in our state,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “These companies keep our economy thriving, and help Georgia maintain its status at the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business. This is an incredible opportunity to put a spotlight on Georgia’s small businesses and highlight some of our fastest growing companies. It is an honor to congratulate this year’s winners for their hard work and dedication.”


In his acceptance speech, John Holmes spoke on the importance of having a great team of staff members and partners from across the community.


“Page Estes and the team at the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce have played an important role in the success of Atlas Turf. It was Page who introduced us to Mark Lupo with the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center. From our first meeting with Mark and his colleague, Todd Carlisle, the SBDC team has provided us with exceptional guidance and advice.”


135 nominations were submitted, reviewed and vetted by a panel of judges.