Membership Info Chamber Info Community Info Directory Listings Chamber News Events Committees Ads Links
Mar 13 2018 01:25pm    Comments: 0    Categories: Community      Tags: chambernews  



Tracy Ward

Executive Director

Easton Economic Development Corporation




When Brian Riddle sought to create a new line of starter plants at his two Homestead Gardens stores in Anne Arundel County, he thought he had come up with the perfect name. “Chesapeake Harvest,” he believed, would resonate with his clientele of home gardeners who prefer to shop locally, and who have a strong connection to the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The only trouble was, the name was already in use. The Easton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) established Chesapeake Harvest in 2014 to support a vibrant food economy on the Eastern Shore. The program assists local food producers – both agriculture and aquaculture – with marketing and branding, technical issues, and pathways to expanded wholesale and retail markets across the region.

Instead of seeing a conflict, Riddle saw an opportunity. He contacted the EEDC and a partnership was born. Thanks to a mutual agreement, Riddle, working with Tidal Creek Growers and Easton’s Chesapeake Harvest, will carry a line of Chesapeake Harvest-brand starter plants this season. “The Chesapeake Harvest message aligns with what we know our customers are looking for,” says Riddle.

A key to the success of Homestead Garden’s mission is aligning with like-minded businesses. Homestead Gardens recognizes Chesapeake Harvest as a business with shared values. This spring and summer, Homestead’s plants for gardeners – including basil, parsley, lavender, tomatoes, peppers and many more – will be packaged in a new line of biodegradable pots and will bear a tag with the Chesapeake Harvest logo. A portion of proceeds from each sale will go towards helping Chesapeake Harvest fulfill its mission. At the same time, the branding of tens of thousands of plants will help promote Maryland’s farming economy, and the new starter plant products will appeal to Homestead’s eco-conscious customers.

Tidal Creek Growers, which grows Homestead’s plants at its greenhouses in Davidsonville, has an agreement to use the Chesapeake Harvest name. The new line will include Tidal Creek’s 50 most popular garden varieties, with projected sales of more than 20,000 plants in 2018. If the products are a success, Mike Leubecker, Tidal Creek manager, says he hopes to expand beyond the initial varieties while introducing the new brand to other stores up and down the Eastern Seaboard. This could mean that the Chesapeake Harvest name will reach hundreds of thousands of consumers each year.

The Chesapeake Harvest-branded plants replace a line from Tidal Creek that came in colorful plastic pots. The new container is easily composted – either torn up and used as mulch, or placed directly in the ground with the plant, Leubecker says. “It’s an all-around better product.”

Riddle says the new agreement fits with the mission of his family-owned Homestead Gardens. “I’m very committed to supporting local agricultural efforts,” he says. “The opportunity to partner with organizations like Chesapeake Harvest is what Homestead Gardens is all about.” Riddle says he hopes to work on other branded products with Chesapeake Harvest that will further promote and support its mission.

The Chesapeake Harvest brand has a great story to tell, Riddle says. “People will like the fact that it supports our local Bay watershed.”

Easton Economic Development Corporation was launched in 2013 to drive economic vitality, smart redevelopment, and business creation in the historic Town of Easton, Maryland to foster a healthy quality of life for all generations. The EEDC works toward managing Easton’s continued growth as a diverse and healthy “smart town,” leading innovation where the land and water meet.

Chesapeake Harvest, a Maryland limited-liability benefit corporation, is an initiative of the Easton Economic Development Corporation to invest in branding, sales, marketing and technical assistance to enable Eastern Shore farmers to expand market reach, increase the supply of local, healthy foods to the region, and support employment opportunities in agriculture and aquaculture.

For more information:

Tracy Ward, Executive Director, Easton Economic Development Corporation, 443.798.4077

Rachel Edler, Brand Marketing Manager, Homestead Gardens, 410798.5000, ext. 2235

Caption: Pictured is Chesapeake Harvest’s Sweet Basil starter plant, offered at Homestead Gardens’ stores in Anne Arundel County. Homestead Gardens is working with Tidal Creek Growers and Easton’s Chesapeake Harvest to carry a line of Chesapeake Harvest-brand starter plants this season.








Copyright © 2018 Talbot County Chamber of Commerce.

The Talbot County Chamber of Commerce
101 Marlboro Ave Suite 53
Easton, MD 21601

Phone: (410) 822-4653
Fax: (410) 822-7922

Like us on Facebook! Like us on Facebook!