True to its name, Prides Corner Farms in Lebanon operates with pride. The 40-year-old wholesale nursery business grows more than 2,000 varieties of plants on 350-plus acres, with everything from trees, shrubs and perennials to fruits, vegetables and herbs.
In an effort to make their plants stand out among the rest at garden centers while also giving back to the community, Prides Corner decided to create a number of branded plant programs, many of which partner with local organizations to donate a portion of the proceeds from certain plants.
“We didn’t have money to advertise on TV, so instead we partnered with local and regional organizations to create additional attention and support great causes,” says Mark Sellew, president at Prides Corner. “We’ve partnered with Easter Seals, food banks and national wildlife organizations.”
One of their most successful branded programs is the American Beauties Native Plant program, which helps homeowners support native birds, butterflies and bees.
“Our food supply depends on the work of native pollinators and each homeowner can play an important role in helping wildlife and pollinators by planting native plants,” Sellew says. “These plants benefit the birds, butterflies and other pollinators a lot more than non-native plants.”
In addition to branded plants, Prides Corner understands that its business wouldn’t be what it is today without its surrounding community and employees, which is why they choose to give back. For example, the company has given an agriculture and/or environmental science scholarship to a graduate of Lyman High School in Lebanon each year.
“We also partner with the town of Willimantic to beautify the town. A lot of our employees live there and we feel there’s a need to work with the town,” Sellew says.
“We have a great team and they’re all Connecticut residents,” he adds. “I would say that our company is part of the community and it’s really important to give. You get so much more joy out of giving and I enjoy how our company comes together to achieve that.”