Natureworks Understands The Power Of Edibles

Natureworks Understands The Power Of Edibles

Natureworks Horticultural Services, a garden center in Northford, Conn., has built a successful, in-house brand around its vegetables and herbs called Incredible Edibles.

Emphasize Organic To Sell More Edibles

Consumers equate organically grown with safe food. "For years we have contracted with organic growers to produce our vegetable seedlings," says owner Nancy DuBrule-Clemente. "Some are USDA certified organic, others are growers we know who use organic practices and we trust. We state that right up front in our brochure. If we sell an edible that is not organically grown, we label it as conventional, just like they do at Whole Foods."

The store contracts primarily with two growers. "We use two because we never want to be totally dependent on one grower in case of a crop failure," DuBrule-Clemente says.

Allow Customers To Preorder Their Veggies And Herbs

Each seasons’ selection begins the previous year, in late fall when the staff studies sales figures and creates a list of varieties to send to its growers, DuBrule-Clemente says. 

Customers frequently preorder their edibles. "We usually have over 2000 plants grown for us! The order process is tedious, but people love it that they can come and pick up their reserved plants," she says.

Learn From Grocery Stores

The department is such a hit that Natureworks has made it a destination for the store. "We load the area up with empty wagons, have every vegetable variety labeled, have extra descriptive brochures handy, and locate our organic herb plants right next to the veggies," DuBrule-Clemente says. "We even group the blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and any other edibles we can get our hands on such as asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, etc. nearby. Our teaching tent is adjacent to the Incredible Edibles and we run free workshops about growing food all during the spring."

The retailer took a page from grocery stores to increase exposure of the entire store. "We had Sunrise Marketing do a nice sign for us last year, and we moved the Incredible Edibles department all the way to the back of the nursery yard so people had to walk to get them, just like the way they put milk and eggs in the farthest aisle in the supermarket. That freed some prime retail space when you first walk into our retail yard for colorful annuals. Everyone finds the edibles no problem," DuBrule-Clemente says.

Extend Mother’s Day Sales

The store holds a veggie week that boosts perennial and annuals sales as well. "Veggie week [the week after Mother’s Day] is chaos at Natureworks. Naturally we cross sell with organic fertilizers, stakes, cages, straw mulch, Coast of Maine compost, grow bags, raised beds, organic vegetable gardening books, etc. Great time to have people come in to pick up orders and browse around!" she says.

Take a look at these images that show off the results.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “Natureworks Understands The Power Of Edibles

  1. Is there any case studies that determine the financial viability of these gardens as compared to grocery store pricing, the eclectic benefits notwithstanding?

More From ...

May 22, 2015

AccuWeather Summer Forecast: Expect A Range Of Extremes

A continued drought in the West, higher moisture in the Southeast and above-normal temperatures in the North could have an effect on what your customers are buying.

Read More
EMV Card J Lombardi

May 22, 2015

Retailers Taking Steps To Deal With EMV As Deadline Looms

The Oct. 1 deadline looms for retailers to be ready to accept chip-enabled Europay MasterCard Visa credit cards. According to the National Retail Federation, the costs of the new technology, coupled with banks’ plans to stick with signatures instead of switching to more secure PINs, have many merchants hesitant to make the move.

Read More

May 21, 2015

How To Hold A Successful In-Store Promotional Event

A successful event attracts customers and motivates employees. While boosting your business, it builds your reputation and sets you apart from other garden centers.

Read More
Latest Stories

May 22, 2015

AccuWeather Summer Forecast: Expect A Range Of Extremes

A continued drought in the West, higher moisture in the Southeast and above-normal temperatures in the North could have an effect on what your customers are buying.

Read More
EMV Card J Lombardi

May 22, 2015

Retailers Taking Steps To Deal With EMV As Deadline Loo…

The Oct. 1 deadline looms for retailers to be ready to accept chip-enabled Europay MasterCard Visa credit cards. According to the National Retail Federation, the costs of the new technology, coupled with banks’ plans to stick with signatures instead of switching to more secure PINs, have many merchants hesitant to make the move.

Read More

May 21, 2015

How To Hold A Successful In-Store Promotional Event

A successful event attracts customers and motivates employees. While boosting your business, it builds your reputation and sets you apart from other garden centers.

Read More

May 19, 2015

Shemin Nursery And Landscape Supply Patriarch And WWI V…

Nearly 100 years after Sgt. William Shemin pulled wounded comrades to safety on a World War I battlefield, his heroism has finally earned him the nation’s highest service medal.

Read More

May 18, 2015

Mother’s Day Was Strong For Many Garden Centers This Ye…

Despite threats (or true blasts) of inclement weather in some areas, Mother’s Day weekend set records in several areas. Check out what retailers across the country are reporting in terms of traffic, weather and how they are seeking to improve efficiency.

Read More
Bob Warhurst

May 18, 2015

Merrifield Garden Center Co-Founder Robert Warhurst Pas…

Warhurst and his good friend Buddy Williams started Merrifield Garden Center in Northern Virginia in 1971, eventually growing it into one of the largest independent garden centers in the country.

Read More

May 18, 2015

Today’s Garden Center’s 2015 State Of The Industry Surv…

Input from garden center retailers about how your garden center is faring will be used to compare previous years’ health to our industry’s current performance.

Read More

May 15, 2015

How Millennials Are Shaping Shopping Trends

The National Retail Federation and others are looking at how millennial homebuyers and homeowners are influencing shopping trends, and how major retailers are adapting to meet this trend.

Read More
Moana nursery end cap

May 12, 2015

How Moana Nursery Thrives In The High Desert [Slideshow…

By focusing on the rewards of gardening in arid Reno, Nevada, Moana Nursery weathered one of the worst-hit areas in the country during the recession.

Read More
GrowIt Senetti Logo

May 11, 2015

Suntory And GrowIt! Garden Socially Partner On A New Se…

Three different contests will run from May through early August. Garden center retailers can upload their own photos or encourage their customers to enter and win.

Read More
Ingenico EMV

May 8, 2015

National Retail Federation Addresses Concerns About EMV…

In a short video, NRF senior vice president Mallory Duncan weighs in on the status of new EMV chips in credit cards, what retailers need to know and whether the new cards are truly as safe as intended.

Read More

May 8, 2015

Martha Stewart Tops List Of Keynote Speakers At This Su…

An interview between Martha Stewart and IGC Show founder Jeff Morey will kick off the IGC East show in Baltimore, with a full slate of engaging speakers to follow at both IGC events.

Read More
Summerfest overview

May 5, 2015

Fun Things You Can Do Before Or After The GCA Tour

There's a lot you can add to your GCA calendar. From Summerfest, a huge music festival (think performances from a wide range of bands, like the Rolling Stones, Jane's Addiction, Zac Brown Band and Phillip Phillips) to a more relaxed Wisconsin Cheesemakers' And Wine Train, there are dozens of festivals and activities happening in Milwaukee in late June.

Read More

May 5, 2015

How You Can Survive “Mobilegeddon”

Late last year, Google announced a change in the way websites will be ranked in search results on mobile phones. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it will appear lower in search results.

Read More

May 4, 2015

Scotts-MiracleGro Partners With Meijer To Open New In-S…

As part of a pilot program, retailer Meijer has announced it is partnering with Marysville, Ohio-based Scotts-MiracleGro to open 27 garden centers in existing Meijer stores across the Midwest, including 11 in Michigan.

Read More

May 4, 2015

Six Ways To Boost Sales Over Mother’s Day Weekend

Whether it’s by extending hours, offering giveaways or holding events, there are a number of ways to boost sales over Mother’s Day weekend. Here’s what a few garden centers are doing.

Read More

April 28, 2015

Urban Garden Center Excels At Adapting To Its Community…

Located in New York City's Spanish Harlem, Urban Garden Center's customers need a store that reflects the needs of the neighborhood. This unusual garden retailers finds many ways to do just that.

Read More

April 24, 2015

New Web Site Helps Consumers Find Plants And Retailers …

Plant Select, a Colorado-based plant supplier that provides plants designed to thrive in high plains and intermountain regions, has launched a new website that allows visitors to search for plants and where to buy them.

Read More