Business: Brewster Sand & Gravel
Owner: Amberlyn Tubman
How did you get started with your business?
I was working for a bank where I was changing jobs internally every 9 months or so due to boredom. After trying just about every option available there I decided a needed a change. At that time my dad needed help so I left the bank to ‘help dad’ in the office with his growing landscape supply business. That was in 1999. Dad retired about 8 years ago and I was enjoying what I was doing so I just kept things going. In 2008 I officially became the owner during our relocation from Brewster to Eastham. We are now in our 5th season in Eastham and I am happy to say I still enjoy my work despite some significant hurdles these past few years!
Tell us about the business:
We provide bulk landscape materials which means we sell things like mulches, loam, composts, driveway gravel, crushed shell, wood chips, sand, and more by the cubic yard. We also carry pallets of cobblestones in varying sizes. We offer 3 truck sizes for delivery, or the materials can be picked up at our supply yard in trucks and trailers. For smaller quantities – buckets, trash barrels or totes can be filled ‘self serve’ style to save big over buying bagged products. We are open to the public and sell to both contractors and homeowners.
Tell us about yourself:
Born on the Cape, I graduated Nauset High in 1989. I received my BS from the University of New Hampshire and then my MBA from Bentley College. I live in Brewster with my husband Dave and our 2 dogs, along with a few horses, goats, chickens, ducks and a barn cat. I enjoy vacationing at our cabin in Maine, horseback riding and hiking in the Punkhorn Parklands.
Where do you find inspiration?
Mostly I try to listen to what my customers are saying and make improvements that answer those problems or needs. Even though we don’t offer landscaping services, I love to browse magazines for project ideas – gardens, ponds, firepits, I love it all and I think it helps me better understand what products I should have available.
What do you love about your business?
I enjoy hearing about the different landscape projects my customers are working on, especially now when people are staying closer to home. I guess you could say I love the logistics as well, I find it gratifying to be able to get the materials to my customers when they need them so as not to interrupt the flow of the project. I am also becoming more and more interested in natural and organic gardening and landscape methods, I am learning a great deal from a few of my customers to think more about what impact the things we do have on our environment.
What are some ways that you promote your business?
I have tried a variety of advertising through local newspapers, radio and coupons but have found that word of mouth is the most effective. I try to build and maintain great relationships with complimentary businesses such as nurseries, property maintenance companies, builders and even other supply yards. We have had terrific feedback on our website and I receive a steady stream of product inquiries via our ‘contact us’ form available there. We also have a Facebook page with over 100 likes, but I haven’t been very good about posting there regularly for some reason. We use the Valpak to offer coupons in the Spring and locallocalcoupons.com for monthly email coupons.
What are your other sites?
Facebook: Brewster Sand and Gravel
Do you have any advice to offer others in your same business?
I would say most importantly is to do what you say your going to do, be honest with your customers, and always look for ways to gain more knowledge about your products.