As we begin our 20th year and my 9th year at Coast of Maine I thought it would be a good time to reflect on why I work here and what I have learned.
I was intrigued with Coast of Maine story when my friend Pete Bottomley approached me in regard to a possible job opening as Director of Marketing. Pete held the position and was looking to pursue new career challenges while downsizing his responsibilities at CoM and maintaining partial ownership.
I wasn’t a gardener and could barely tell a daisy from a daffodil but I loved the idea that a banker, consulting for a small business, would see them trying to compost their mussel shell waste and think that he could put it in a bag and sell it to independent garden centers.
The enormous drive, creativity and passion that pushed Coast of Maine into over 400 retailers throughout New England in 2007 had me hooked. I was ready to take my lack of gardening knowledge and jump in to help push the brand forward!
I was in my late forties and I felt like I was staring over. I’d walk into garden centers afraid that they would ask me something that I didn’t know the answer to. What I quickly discovered was that garden center owners and employees as a group are the kindest, hardest working and smartest people I know.
Secondarily, I found that they knew everything about plants and very little about soil and soil biology.
Here was my hook! As long we focused on what type of plants needed what type of soil and amendments I was safe!
I quickly learned that soil education was something that every garden center needed. Pete was already doing soil training and to multiply his efforts me put him on video basically training me about each soil product.
From there we made sure that we had the correct email addresses and contact information for all the garden centers and began to send out educational videos and testimonials to all of them.
The idea was to educate on a broader scale while creating a sense of community between the independent retailers as we shared their good ideas and knowledge.
Over 600 videos later, it is working but it wouldn’t work if we didn’t have employees dedicated to making the world’s best compost and fertilizer. They are the key to all of Coast of Maine’s growth.
If you are a consumer, garden center owner or garden center employee please check out our website and watch some of our “how to” and “testimonial videos”. You might see one of your employees or friend talking about their success using Coast of Maine composts and fertilizers.
At the same time, we’ll continue to make the world’s best compost and fertilizer blends while we invite you to celebrate our 20th anniversary by shopping at your local garden center.