Joe Ferrone, like Cristy Christie, is an original “Inner Circle” (now merged with the WFA) member, and someone who has put a lot of work into getting his vermicomposting business off the ground.
Also similar to Cristy, Joe decided to focus primarily on the sale of worm castings – but that’s where the similarities end. Starting up his own large-scale castings production operation wasn’t an option for him, so he decided to team up with others to make it happen, as you’ll learn below. Pretty cool stuff!
I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where Joe heads from here.
My micro vermicompost biz is going great – in large part thanks to you! My business name is Joe Ferrone Worm Poop, LLC. Started in January 2011, I operate based on two main strategic partnerships.
1) The Growhaus – http://www.growhaus.org/
From the website:
“Everyone deserves a healthy meal. But in some communities, healthy food simply isn’t available. The GrowHaus is a non-profit urban farm and market in one such community – northeast Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood. Our mission is to grow healthy community through food access, production and education.”
Here I teach a two hour worm compost class and for a donation of $20 send participants off with an 18 gal starter bin, complete with a few handfuls of my high density (HD) breeder bin, of course they also receive a sample of castings for house plants, my business card for future casting and worm purchases.
2) Moore Bait – http://moorebait.com/
After many conversations in Dec 2010 with Larry “Scott” Moore, I decided to order ONE TON of finished vermicompost!! I bagged and labeled my first ton shortly after learning about how to handle one ton logistics with no proper loading dock at The Growhaus, which was somewhat of a headache considering how much I had to invest with only a few hundred pounds of orders lined up.
The state of Colorado has a very active, year round group of indoor growing professionals due to the Medical Cannabis laws. With only one main contact, I sold my first ton (about 56, thirty pound bags after many samples given to others) within three months. My next order was two tons, of which I have about thirty remaining bags. I feel that this type of distribution is a good start to developing other contacts with farmers to create multi ton harvests without having to deal
with shipping. Of course, that is a huge project I am just brainstorming on now.
Scientific nutrient analysis from Colorado State University
It appears to me (and some other local worm farmers) that there is no Colorado resource for multi ton orders of VC. This is my niche market for the future and by then I plan on having a book full of clients that make either seasonal orders (spring would be huge) or regular orders.
Anyway! woo, now I know what you feel like!
That is the basic starting plan for the biz and I am letting it unfold slow and organically – no pun intended – as I also play on a regular basis with Denver based funk band www.bopskizzum.com and work a full time job for a major insurance company. Oh, did I mention my wonderful fiancee, Deean? She is the light of my life and we are getting married next 7/7/12.
Congratulations on the progress you’ve made with your business, and of course on your engagement, Joe!
Thanks again for sharing your progress report with us here!
One of MY WFA goals of 2012 is to nudge Joe towards creating his own website for Joe Ferrone Worm Poop LLC (nudge, nudge, wink, wink JOE!!! lol). He’s done a fantastic job with offline networking already, so I know he’ll really be able to kick things into overdrive once he has his own web presence!