Will Raap spearheads the launch of Gardener's Supply Company as a catalog mail order business.
Our first offices, test garden, and warehouse open in Winooski, VT. We're one of the first to offer products for organic gardening and for physically limited gardeners.
Gardener's decides to donate 8% of annual profits (intentionally higher than the IRS deduction cap of 7.5%) to community organizations using gardening as a force for good.
Gardener's establishes an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and moves operations to the site of an abandoned slaughterhouse in Burlington's Intervale. Will organizes work parties to mitigate decades of illegal dumping so that our new "backyard" can become a center for gardening and farming.
Recognizing an opportunity to divert tens of thousands of tons of yard and food waste from the local landfill, Will establishes the Intervale Compost Project. Quickly becoming the largest composting operation in VT, it restores fertility to 100s of acres in the Intervale floodplain and leads to the development of the Intervale Center — now a national leader in organic farming, community agriculture, and land restoration.
Gardener's acquires a residential greenhouse company, and dives into product design and manufacturing.
Seeking to also re-localize the food system, stop rainforest degradation, and support youth gardening, we sponsor local forums on community agriculture. The very first one leads to the establishment of the Intervale Community Farm— the first (and now the largest!) CSA in VT.
Gardener's is at the forefront of the national 20th anniversary movement and gets vocal about restoring soil health, the risk of GMOs and glyphosate, the pollinator crisis, climate change (and the role of healthy ecosystems as a solution), and the value of community and school gardens.
A new research and development division launches the first of 100s of award-winning and new-to-market products — innovative products that help gardeners find greater joy and success.
We organize the first Intervale Harvest Festival and Tomato Two-Miler race to highlight the local farming community and the resurgent agricultural riches of this once neglected and abused floodplain.
The year of the first secure internet retail transaction, and a year before the launches of both Amazon and eBay, we opened a rudimentary store on Yahoo!
We take a leap and expand our Vermont manufacturing operation to include garden sheds, launching the hybrid and immensely popular SunShed. A greenhouse on one side, and a storage shed on the other, it sells like hotcakes.
Gardener's launches our “Be a Grower, Not a Mower” campaign to boost food and flower gardening as an alternative to lawns. Now, more than two decades later, the environmental and human cost of the American lawn obsession is still coming to light.
We're quick to snap up the gardeners.com URL and launch excitedly into the digital age with a site that offers not only gardening products, but sound advice and guidance for gardeners of all experience levels and in all sorts of climates.
Gardener's takes a firm stand against GMOs. Monsanto threatens to sue. (We prevail.)
Our manufacturing facility shifts focus to innovative (and now renowned) raised beds, lifetime aluminum bed corners and connectors, and grow light stands. We also establish the Garden Crusader award program to recognize the extraordinary impact of individual gardeners.
Gardener's takes a stand on pollinator decline and helps launch what is now the Pollinator Partnership. Given that an estimated one in three bites of food depend on pollinators, their survival and proliferation is still one of our primary areas of focus.
Gardener's employees launch a sneak attack on neglected public spaces by dropping blooming containers around Burlington in our first annual Random Acts of Gardening event.
Our second Vermont garden center becomes a destination for gardeners, houseplant lovers, and anyone who needs a little respite from everyday hustle and bustle. Dogs are welcome too!
Michelle Obama plants the White House Garden, a collaborative concept devised by one of our Garden Crusader awardees Roger Doiron (who went on to found SeedMoney.org).
Gardener's transitions to full employee-ownership. Every winter solstice we mark this anniversary by serving delicious local tarts to our customers in a figurative sharing of a "piece of the pie." As employee owners, we put our hearts and souls into everything we do, and pride ourselves in providing the best customer service and gardening advice in the industry.
To better meet customer demand, Gardener's builds a large distribution center in Milton, VT (our distinctive and award-winning mural goes up in 2017).
We establish the "Company Farm" and grow more than 300 pounds of potatoes for people in need — right outside our headquarters. Today there are farms at each of our locations, growing food for local hunger-relief organizations.
Gardener's becomes a certified B Corp, solidifying our commitment to using the power of our business to address social and environmental problems.
Gardener's is named B Corp's "Best for Workers" for the first time. Successive awards follow.
Gardener's becomes a key, and longstanding, supporting partner of KidsGardening.org. Empowering kids to not only grow their own food, but to also understand the importance of knowing where their food comes from, is still central to our mission.
We acquire and open our third garden center in picturesque Lebanon, NH. If you visit, be sure to pronounce it Leba-nehn (as the locals do), not Leba-non (like the country, which is incorrect).
We are recognized as a company that engages its employee-owners, its community, and "is an example all ESOP companies can proudly seek to replicate." Woohoo!
Our ground-breaking Vertex Tomato Cages and Bamboo Light Gardens win the Direct Gardening Association's Green Thumb Award. We think they're pretty amazing too!