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Today I am reminded.....

One year ago yesterday, Tony Paroubek submitted what turned out to be the final update to his Exotic Plants Plus inventory page, following the catastrophic loss of his entire Nepenthes (and other tropical plants) collection resulting from a heating failure at his NY greenhouse. (The company supplying his fuel simply stopped refilling his tanks because of some glitch in their system, and they failed to inform Tony of this disruption of service)

I want to express my gratitude for the service and unparalleled quality of plants Tony provided over the 2+ year span I did business with him. 90% of my collection came from Tony.

I can barely imagine the heartbreak and sense of loss someone would undoubtedly feel under such circumstances, and I suspect we aren't going to witness the resurrection of Tony's business, which is an immense loss to North American growers - EPP is a hard act to follow. Thank you Tony, for the superior plants you provided and your thoughtful contributions to the community - on multiple levels. You are missed.

Paul Barden

Well said, Paul. Like so many others, I miss Tony's presence and his business. His integrity and passion for these plants was second to none...

I still hope he might return.
I only had a couple experiences through his store, but they both provided me with amazing plants. My N. "Viking" x (maxima x trusmadiensis) is currently growing as a monster. He had impeccable service, and the plants, well, you look for a small and he sent you an extra large, not even to touch on what the LARGE plants were like.....
Accidents happen, but it's a horrid loss when it happens to someone with a track record like he did.
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Receiving plants from Tony was always a much anticipated and pleasurable experience. I have felt at a loss ever since the incident.

I hope all is well for Tony, regardless of whether he decides to build a collection or start retailing again.
I agree with all the sentiments expressed in the previous posts. Tony had (has) extraordinary skill as a grower, the quality of his plants was 2nd to none, he demonstrated extreme generosity & high ethics - no question on any of these things (& many more). I miss him. I continue to hope that he manages to work through the physical & psychological damage & restart his business.

On a completely different note, one takeaway for me since this happened has been redundancy. Virtually any individual system, whether electric, electronic, mechanical or personnel-based, is subject to failure. Planning for a failure with some form of backup system is critical to long-term survival. The more expensive/precious the collection, the more extensive the quality/quantity of the backup(s). Anything that is critical for the operation must be evaluated & failure modes planned for.
I dont mean to rehash bad memories, but wasn't Tony the same person that also had some of his inventory STOLEN?? I seriously just feel absolutely TERRIBLE for the guy. I bought some stuff from him, and he always had a good inventory, and great customer service. In fact, if im not mistaken, the very N. × trusmadiensis plant pictured in the main post was one of the plants that was stolen from him. Im about to cry.

EDIT: Sorry, that was another N. × trusmadiensis plant that was stolen. My apologies. No less saddening though :(
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He will be missed that is for sure, I was lucky enough to obtain his last sing x "RHH". I am proud to grow the plants I bought from him.