- Compostost: Breakfast for Flowers
is Nursery Mix?
Come back later to look for these other online articles:
to Use Kricket Krap
for House Plants
Nourish Plants Year-round
For The Garden
and Common Sense
& Hungry Flowers
Compostost: Breakfast for Flowers
Bill Bricker, Sr.
Much of what we are has its roots in spontaneous developments. Like all natural things, our business has sprung up after trying many options that did not take hold. But, also as in nature, you keep trying and you find a way. Something starts, and then shifts and expands over time, with innovations and changes you might not expect. The key in remaining alive and thriving is to recognize which of the surprises is one to stick with, or to let go. Even at the start, the idea of a making a business out of compost brought the unexpected.
Happy Mistake or Genius?
All we knew at first was we wanted to take simple composting techniques we used quite literally in our own backyard and produce them on a scale big enough to sell to others. We enlisted the help of middle son, Bill Bricker, II, who was in art school at the time, to come up with a logo and name. He set to work on the kitchen table, going into all hours of the night as was his way. I've never understood night owl's, but it works for them. I hit the hay leaving him to his explorations.
The next morning, while he slept in, as usual, I discovered his completed design. He had clearly drawn out "COMPOSTOST". I was amazed. Taking from the philosophy that "plants are people, too" the idea of toast--the bread of life--to provide nutrition summed up everything we were trying to convey in one simple word. I couldn't wait to share my enthusiasm for the idea.
Oddly, my proclamations of praise met with blank stares from my son. It took several moments of discussion to sort it out, with me trying to call the move "genius" and he doing all he could to reject it. I soon discovered what had happened. He explained he had been using a lettering style to spell out the word "COMPOST" but was not satisfied with shape of the "S". Rather than begin again, he simply repeated the last three letters, deciding to edit the work down in the morning.
Thank goodness he never did, or I would not have seen the work in progress. Who knows if we ever would have made the move otherwise.
The Perfect Tag Line
As the day progressed, I retold the story to everyone in the family. My wife, Lou Ellen picked up on the connection right way. If plants are people, too, and people eat toast for breakfast, then it followed quite logically that Compostost would be "Breakfast for Flowers".
Interestingly, our attempts to alter the name to "Compostoast" met interference from the patent office. It seems since no actual bread would be included in the mix (although it could easily have since anything biodegradable could be in there), we could not suggest it was in the product name. So the decision was made to leave the spelling as originally lettered by mistake.
The TOST of the town
Now, almost 40 years later, we still market the product under the shortened name "TOST" with no plans to stop. We provide it in bags, by the pick-up and dump truck load at a time to everyone from individual gardeners to golf course landscapers, and even to tree growers on the order of tons. We often load up a whole semi full of product to sell out of the back in any location. So keep an eye out where ever you are. We may be coming to your town.