Botanical Interests, Inc.
660 Compton Street
Broomfield, CO 80020
Interview with Curtis Jones, Co-Owner and Co-Founder
How did Botanical Interests get started?
In high school, I had a teacher who was instrumental in developing my interest in plants. Eventually I started working for a seed company and quickly realized they didn’t meet my personal expectations for the qualities of a great company. Along the way I met my business partner, Judy Seaborn, who has always had a great passion for gardening and as it turned out, also had a good knack for financial matters and operations. Since I was good at sales and customer service, we felt we were a good fit as a business team and started Botanical Interests in 1995. Our first customer was The Flower Bin in Longmont, who we still work with today.
What values drive the company?
The key to our success can be attributed to some fairly simple, but important values. First, we provide useful information on our seed packets, both on the inside and outside. This gives our customers the kind of information that can help them make a buying decision right from the packet. Next, our packaging is unique, beautiful and attractive and reflects the quality of the seed inside. In fact, we use original artwork from independent Colorado artists to render the image of each plant on our packets. Third, we service all of our stores on a regular basis with personal visits. Finally, we provide excellent customer service from our main office – if someone calls us, we always speak to them and answer every question they have.
What markets do you serve?
We sell Botanical Interests seeds all across the U.S. which includes 4,500 stores. We sell to independent garden centers and hardware stores as well as gourmet grocery stores. All of our seeds are GMO Project verified and many of our varieties are certified organic. We offer 600 – 700 varieties and keep our seed selection up to speed with customer preferences. We’re always dropping and adding varieties to keep our customers supplied with new and exciting seed options each year. For example, last year we introduced potato seeds and Dazzling Blue Kale.
What trends have you noticed in the past two years?
We’ve seen a huge influx of young people buy our seeds and we see that trend continuing. During the first year of the pandemic (2020) our commitment to customer service made a difference in keeping our business thriving. Although we had inventory shortages and ran out of some varieties, we never missed a day of shipping our products to customers. Vegetable seed sales were unbelievable in the first year and last year flower seed sales went nuts! We’re seeing that the mad rush to gardening is not slowing down. Although we provide an online store, we’re noticing that people are coming back to the brick-and-mortar stores in greater numbers to make their seed purchases.
Why do people favor seeds?
With all the uncertainties that we’re facing these days, I think our customers like the control that growing flowers and vegetables from seeds provides. Growing from seed also has an inherent sense of satisfaction that comes from seeing a beautiful flower or vegetable that has been nourished from the very beginning.
Why did Botanical Interests join CNGA?
We wanted to be part of an organization that supports our customers. We know that CNGA helps us all stay connected and we really value the opportunities CNGA provides to share experiences and learn new ways to improve on what we do.