On the shortest day of the year, the employees of Gardener’s Supply gather for a moment of personal reflection. Each of us writes one of the year’s regrets on a scrap of paper.

Then, Jim Feinson, our company president leads us into the crisp December air, where a copper fire pit blazes. We toss our regrets into the fire and toast marshmallows in the flames.

We also write a personal resolution for the coming year, place it in a sealed envelope with our name on it, and give them to Jim. These sealed envelopes are returned to us, unopened, in about six months, as a personal reminder from ourselves about the resolutions we made.

This annual rite, started in 2009 when we became 100 percent employee-owned, was written into the agreement we made with our founder, Will Raap, when purchasing his shares. It happened that we closed the employee-ownership deal on the solstice.

In addition, we celebrate the anniversary at our two Vermont stores by serving a “piece of the pie” – literally, delicious pies – to all who shop with us that day.

Gardener’s Supply has always been a different kind of company, to learn more, check out our Who We Are pages.

David Grist
Gardener’s Supply