A lady came in looking for organic fertilizer for her vegetable garden. We sell organics so I walked her over to some bone meal and blood meal to work into the soil. These wouldnâ€™t do as she is a vegan! This was the first time this had happened to me. She not only ate vegan but didnâ€™t want to use any animal bi-products in her soil. I just saw a celebrity mention that she only wears vegan clothes!
The eco-movement which gains steam every day is fragmenting. People refuse to be lumped into the general picture of the organic gardener. As a business to just call your self eco-friendly is not going to do for long. Everyone is going to be â€œeco-friendlyâ€ soon as they try to tap into this lucrative market. In the garden center business this means being able to address the needs of the vegan gardener as well as the non-vegan gardener and everyone else who shows an interest in any aspect of organic gardening.
This is a great opportunity for the small garden center. While the larger chains and box stores will wrap themselves in the â€œecoâ€ banner will they be able to help the vegan gardener? How about the organic gardener that requires â€œcertifiedâ€ organic seed? Open pollinated seed varieties? The gardener interested in cover crop rotation? What about native plants and excellent substitutes that are drought tolerant?
The opportunities for attracting this type of consumer to the garden center are great! This person is generally willing to spend more to meet their goals and is quite loyal to the business that has earned their trust. They will spread the word to their like minded friends. While most of our organic customers are not quite as particular as some, the market for the various sub-categories of organic gardening is one that might be worth addressing. I know we will.