Small Business Q&A: Crossroads Landscape Supply
Worm castings, walnut brown mulch and fill dirt are sold by the truck load at this Northeast Cobb retailer.
The word "crossroads" brings to mind a rural Mississippi intersection where mythical dirt roads present opportunity to anyone looking to make a life-changing deal. Crossroads Landscape Supply owner and founder, Bill Whitlock, chose the name because of the transitional connotation. It also fits that dirt, in a number of varieties, is part of what Whitlock retails to Northeast Cobb landscapers and homeowners.
Against the idea of intersecting crossroads, the business is not located on a corner. The yard, piled with mounds of fill dirt, top soil, mulches, stones and firewood, is located in the middle of Ruby Drive, a short, mixed zoning side street that runs parallel to Sandy Plains Road.
Being a block off of a busy thorough fare is OK with Whitlock.
"Outside of regular customers, about 70 percent of my business is over the internet. People look at my website, call, and I deliver."
July is a slow sales month for Whitlock who uses the time to get ready for winter weather and an increased demand for firewood. He does make year-round deliveries of hickory to area barbecue restaurants and occasional orders to homeowners preparing for outdoor fires.
Worm castings are also a product that helps grow Whitlock's business. According to Whitlock, he is the only retailer in the area who stocks the organic fertilizer known to produce a living soil containing organisms that naturally protect plants.
Whitlock employs one year-round worker and hires day help when needed. A larger-than-life wooden sculpture of an American Indian marks the entrance to the yard. Neighbors may remember the art from when Whitlock displayed it on Sandy Plains, when he ran a similar business a block over from his current location.
Q. What's the best thing about your job?
A. I enjoy this type of business. Most of my customers are people who I've been dealing with for years and they've become friends. When a regular customer calls I recognize their voice, know what their house looks like. It's nice.
Q. What is the best thing about Northeast Cobb?
A. I live near my business. I moved here 20 years ago. We like the area because it's close to everything: easy to get to the interstate; there are restaurants and businesses near. The people are nice.
Q. Why did you choose to open your business in Northeast Cobb?
A. A bunch of circumstances lead us here. The location on Sandy Plains Road was available for rent, I was already in the landscape business, and I took the opportunity.
Q. Why did you pick this kind of business?
A. I've been working with lawns for a while. A partner and I started the landscape supply business at the location on Sandy Plains. We're still friends, he's still in the same type of business at a different location.
Q. What are some of the services you offer that people may not know about?
A. We do installation of mulch and other materials. We primarily just sell and deliver.
Q. When did you start your business?
A. Crossroads was started in 2005. I picked the name because I was at a turning point in my life and I like the way crossroads sounds.
Q. How did your business get started?
A. I was leasing the space on Sandy Plains and then I had the chance to buy this property. It's bigger and I can use the space.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?
A. We're here if you need any landscape supplies, mulch, fill dirt, gravel.
Bill Whitlock, owner
Address: 1071 Ruby Drive