GREENE, NY – Today’s Food and Farm Showcase takes us to a company that’s been around since before the last pandemic and has seen its business surge through a renewed interest in gardening.
The Page Seed Company was founded in 1896 in Greene by Erford and Cornelia Page.
It markets over 1 thousand varieties of flower and vegetable seeds plus seeds for growing lawns and the grasses that feed livestock.
Page purchases its seeds in bulk from growers around the world, packages them in packets and then sells them wholesale to retailers around the world.
The business remained in the Page family until 2007 when it was purchased by a group of 4 investors who chose to keep everything pretty much the same.
“The name is very important. A lot of people still say, ‘Oh, Page Seed. My grandfather bought them.’ Or, ‘I will only buy Page Seed because my great-grandmother bought them.’ You know?” says VP of Turf and Agriculture Products, Rita Smith.
Page employees still empty bags of seed into large hoppers on the second floor.
From there, they fall down into the packaging machines which have been in use since the 50’s and 60’s.
Page Seed is particularly proud of its history.
Its office is like a museum displaying signage and diplay cases from years gone by, including the iconic colorful packets, many with advertising printed on them.
“We do a lot with our marketing. To advertise it, make it showy, make it bright, make it attractive,” says Smith.
Smith says the popularity of gardening grew during the pandemic so much that business is up 20 percent.
Page is now shipping out 30 million packets per year and the 30 plus employees are working hard to keep up with demand.
Smith says the traditional summer layoff has been canceled for this year and last and Page is looking for more workers.
And rising shipping and trucking costs are a challenge.
Smith says Page plans to continue helping gardeners grow beautiful flowers and tasty vegetables for years to come.