LEETONIA - Business is way up at Wilms' Mulch and Top Soil either due to normal third-year growth or the extremely mild winter.
Owners John and Cathy Wilms said it's hard to attribute exactly what the reason is but business at their 20-acre facility at 36301 state Route 344 has soared 30 to 40 percent over 2011.
The two have been business partners for more than 20 years and are now in their third year after selling their property in Franklin Square and moving to Leetonia.
Products include garden soil and top soil, mushroom compost and fill dirt, six types of mulch and four types of sand; four types of limestone and grass, straw, barn stones and loose stones.
Customers can access the business directly from state Route 344 or from the Leetonia industrial park.
John Wilms started out with a few yards of bark mulch and topsoil on the corner in Franklin Square and the business had evolved until it was sold in August 2006.
Cathy Wilms said that after a short retirement they found themselves right back in the retail business providing customers with quality, economical landscaping materials.
John Wilms joked the company is the "home of the $16 double-shredded bark mulch."
It's a top seller, he said, adding they also sell a lot of limestone and top soil.
The business moved some 10,000 yards of mulch, 6,000 tons of limestone and between 5,000 and 6,000 yards of processed top soil last year.
"We sell a lot," Wilms said, "we sell anything you can load on a truck."
Cathy Wilms said, "Half of it is delivered goods."
When a business is normally closed during winter months, it has to make it from May until Halloween. This year has been different.
John Wilms said, "We're a month ahead of where we normally are ... it's going this year, it really took off."
He added, "Mulch is big now. But starting in spring, we always get extremely busy with stone in spring, but this year we went straight through the winter. We only had about six days in winter we couldn't deliver and spread driveways.
"Our weekends are big. Saturdays are busy. We get crazy."
Between now and a couple of days after Decoration Day is the hot-selling season.
"Then it eases off up a little after Father's Day," he said.
Cathy Wilms said, "We're very humbled that people come here. We offer a great product for a great price and want people to leave here happy."
Most customers are do-it-yourselfers but there are commercial accounts and the delivery range is northern Columbiana County.
"One thing we do," John Wilms said, "we cover ... if we say we'll do something, we'll do it.
"We've moved a lot of product and we try to treat people right. If anyone has an issue we take care of it."
Seasonal and Saturday help includes grandsons Brandon, Logan and Gavin Wilms while drivers include Jimmy and Matthew with their daughter, Sarah, at the desk along with family friend Linda.
May through June hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Larry Shields can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org