Wander with us and discover who we are
We know you put your customers first. We also know you want to help them create outdoor spaces that are special. We want to help you to make those spaces become an Eden for them.
Gardenzzz is the dedicated online platform for sourcing hardgoods for gardening and outdoor living. Striving to overcome the barriers that prevent our smaller Canadian market from having access to the huge range of products available abroad, we have come up with a new model of distribution. Our aim:
Helping You Gain Access To Choice
Here you can find out a bit about Gardenzzz. Find out who we are and who we are trying to help; how we got here; what we do, what we stand for, and what drives us; and also why we do it and why it matters.
Who we serve: Our audience
- Garden Centers
- Specialty Retailers
- Landscape Architects
- Landscape Designers
- Landscaping Contractors
- Maintenance Contractors
- Real Estate Developers
- Urban Planners
Who we are: Our logo
Symbolizes our aim to create a community, like a hive,
that transforms the planet, one green space at a time...
Who we are: Our team
Web Developer - Grafika Designs
Our website would not exist if it were not for Cosmin, owner of Grafika Designs our web development company. A key partner, Cosmin’s keen eye for design, strong focus on UX (user experience), and unparalleled listening and problem-solving skills have steered us steadily towards our goals. He has also saved us from ourselves a number of times! We are thrilled to have him as our guide on this journey.
How we got here: Our history
Ever a garden nut, I was always interested in growing things and in outdoor spaces, both cultivated and wild. While travelling, I observed green industries, (garden centers, outdoor living stores, lifestyle magazines) noting how they were more evolved compared to those in North America, especially Canada, where it is a much younger industry. Trying to outfit my own outdoor spaces, inspired by gardens and products I saw on my travels, I often hit stumbling blocks en-route to garden Nirvana.
Frustrated by a lack of access to the range of quality outdoor living and gardening products in Canada compared to what is available in Europe, I decided to dig into the issue to learn more. Market research supported my observations and instincts - shifting demographics and economics were fuelling even stronger demand. Traditional distribution models were not serving the needs of our relatively small but varied population seeking more choices. I decided to address this gap. And so, the concept for Gardenzzz was born.
Believing in the power of human resourcefulness and strength in diversity, I knew that setting up the right team was key. I also believed that the culture supporting that team would also be vital as I have always felt that collective efforts and diverse perspectives lead to the most creative and effective solutions. I then partnered with Tanya and together we hired our first employees to be an integral part of the company.
What we do: Our concept
We are developing an online b2b (business-to-business) platform for the green industry in Canada (gardening, landscape and design, outdoor living, horticulture, real estate development, and urban planning). The Gardenzzz platform is about creating access to products that make it easier and more enticing to create an outdoor haven and grow things given obstacles present in the modern North American lifestyle. Many of our products come from Europe, where the industry and garden lifestyle are more mature and entrenched in culture and everyday life.
The challenge, as we see it, is twofold. On the one hand, there is the modern North American lifestyle, in which available time, culture, and established systems do not support and encourage gardening and outdoor living as much as in Europe. On top of that, even in the face of increased spending of both time and money, there is currently little choice available for the consumer who is interested in higher quality goods with a stronger focus on design, value, ethics, and the environment.
The Boomers and Millennials are two groups who are going to have a pronounced impact on this industry. This is due to both demographic and economic shifts. Market research supports the observation that both groups show an increased interest in health, wellness, leisure and the outdoors.
All Canadians are showing increases in how they value these pursuits and values, but it is strongest in the Boomers and Millennials. For the Boomer group, there is also increased time available to pursue these interests. However, there are few options in Canada for green industry products that fit this value set.
The standard distribution model used in the industry to date does not serve these shifting needs.
The problem is that Canada is a large country geographically, with a relatively small population.
The traditional push model of distribution is the main model of distribution in the industry. In this model, a distributor selects a few supplier partners to work with and carries a few of their products so that containers can be filled and brought over economically. They are also the ones making the decision about what to bring over, and those are economically-driven decisions – they will bring what they know they will sell most profitably.
Makes sense – from their perspective. But it is not a customer-centric model. And we know that customer-centric models are the most successful in terms of both economic and satisfaction measures. And that is what guarantees longevity and profitability along the value-chain. The current push model results in very little choice for our small population.
We felt that there had to be a better way.
Our Canadian population deserves the same variety and access to choice that is available to our neighbors. We decided to come up with an alternative – a pull model.
Our concept involves creating an alternative distribution model to the one currently used to get products here. Ours involves partnering with a LOT of suppliers (that still fit our ethos) and carrying their entire product line on our site, but not buying and holding their merchandise here in advance. And so, much more choice is available, and the decision of what to order, and how much to order, is made by those most knowledgeable and directly connected to the end customer. Decisions are made by those on the front lines – you!
Merchandise that makes it to Canada via GARDENZZZ has been sought out and is desired. No need to mark down, dilute brands, destroy value by having too much of the wrong thing. WASTE IS CUT DOWN.
Only what is needed is ordered. No more, no less. Many more options are available, so that you can order what your customer desires instead of compromising with the next best thing. You can offer what will delight them!
To make all this work we will combine orders from clients based on geographical point of origin of supplier to share transport costs among customers. That way you can decide what to order, with full access, and order just what you need (minimums are much smaller, so easier on the independent or trade professional).
As a means of connecting the community on our site, we are starting with a blog type section. We are going to seek out articles from different perspectives within the community so that a wide range of topics and voices are heard. Our goal is to encourage discussion and exchange of knowledge and ideas. With your help, we would like this to grow into a fully dynamic exchange resource for all.
What we stand for: Our core values
Design, value, ethics and the environment
Although we are a start-up and too new at this point to apply for B-Corp status we are nonetheless creating a corporate culture that internalizes and espouses B-Corp values:
- Using business as a force for good;
- Focusing on a triple bottom line – People / Planet / Profits;
- Envisioning business as a vehicle to solve social and environmental problems - governments and communities can have difficulty overcoming challenges alone;
- Being the change we seek in the world;
- Aspiring to do no harm and benefitting all.
Within that framework are the core values that specifically define Gardenzzz - the four pillars that hold our company up through each challenge, obstacle and decision:
Design, value, ethics and the environment
The human capacity to solve problems creatively and enhance human experience
Every product we use has been designed. Every space we inhabit has been designed. As humans, we have the potential to use design to creatively solve problems and improve the world around us. At Gardenzzz, we respect the impact of thoughtful design.
Supporting behaviours that we encourage to make DESIGN a priority:
- Celebrate craftmanship
- Empower artisans
- Listen carefully
- Let in debate, delight, disruption, and discovery
“Value is in the eye of the beholder”
Value is a word we see a lot. It is a small word with a large and complex meaning. Quality and price are only two aspects of value. Service and support are additional value factors that are not part of quality. There are many more aspects of value that are not part of product quality as the term is usually understood.
What the quote above illustrates, and what we have come to recognize and internalize at Gardenzzz, is that value means different things to different people. It is important for us to understand DEEPLY what our customers, and what our customers’ customers value for us to build a legacy company that is truly interconnected.
Supporting behaviours that we encourage to make VALUE a priority:
- Make long-term decisions, even ones at the expense of short-term financial results
- Support thoughtful consumers
- Consider stakeholders all along the value chain – linked prosperity
- Build relationships
- Listen carefully
Always do the right thing. No. Matter. What.
Our actions make changes around us… We take the following basic principles of ethics to heart in every aspect of how we operate.
- Do No Harm
- Make Things Better
- Respect Others
- Be Fair
We want to boost the ripple effect, with positive effects reaching farther and farther, until the world is a better place. We also believe that people are the most important resource. That happiness and fulfilment comes from loving what you do. That doing great work comes from being happy and challenged at work. The best recipe to achieving that perfect mix is to match the person to the project/task and to create a culture that supports that and everyone in it.
Supporting behaviours that we encourage to make ETHICS a priority:
- Be mindful
- Be transparent
- Be humane
- Strive to represent choice, freedom, and responsible profits
- Advocate both fierce independence and human interdependence
“The future will either be green or not at all.”
We believe that we CAN make the future green, and that it is our duty to do so. The ecosystem in which we live provides natural services for humans and all other species that are essential to our health, quality of life and survival.
Gardenzzz is committed to building a sustainable business. That is usually defined as a business that has no negative overall impact on the environment. Taking that one step further, Gardenzzz is committed to building a business that has an overall net POSITIVE impact on the environment.
Supporting behaviours that we encourage to make the ENVIRONMENT a priority:
- Use packaging that can be reused or recycled
- Work with suppliers to assess and improve their sustainability
- Use more energy-efficient equipment, or renewable sources of energy
- Eliminate unnecessary activities
- Reinforce the idea that we all have a part to play, big or small, to make the world better
What drives us: Our mission
Our mission is to green the planet and connect people to nature.
Our 3-Part Mission to create linked prosperity for all stakeholders both local and globally:
- Design community
- Landscaping community
- Urban planners and civil servants
- Real estate developers
- Supplier partners and business providers
- Wildlife and ecosystems
- Other Product and Service providers (competitors)
Provide a HUGE SELECTION of AMAZING products not currently available in a way that is beneficial to our customers in terms of ordering what they need to engage and fulfill their customers.
Provide access to finding these products via a website and database that provide a satisfying user experience in terms of search efficiency and useful content in pleasing formats.
Provide a smooth and reliable ordering process with excellent follow-up and customer service.
Operate on a sustainable financial basis of profitable growth, increasing value for stakeholders and providing new opportunity for growth and development to Gardenzzz, our customers, employees, and suppliers.
Use the company to make the world a better place by being/doing the following:
- Role model for green initiatives
- Care whole-heartedly
- Collaborate deliberately
- Nurture nature
- Innovate disruptively
- Partner with those who share our values
- Spark movements
- Transform communities
What we support: Our commitment to giving back
Ours is a three-pronged approach to support causes that we care about:
We will reserve 1.5% of gross profits to donate to each, and also commit to fundraising with our stakeholders for our team member’s chosen charity. The idea for that being that we are all pulling together to support what is important to one another.
This year we will donate to the following:
- Nature Conservancy of Canada
- Stuart McLean YMCA Camp Kanawana Fund
- Defi Canderel – McGill & U de M Cancer Research
Why we do it: Our goals
We want to create an ecosystem that connects buyers, communities, creators and the planet.
Why it matters: Our vision
A garden / greenspace for every residence / workplace / public space
Our vision involves creating an interconnected community (hive) in the green industry that promotes people returning to a connection with nature by creating their own green spaces, as well as being a part of improving the processes around the creation of public and commercial green spaces.