Find out more about Sun Gro’s exciting and storied history here: Download the GrowerTalks Magazine article.
Black Gold has a Proud History
Key Dates in the History of the Black Gold Product line:
- 1985 Black Gold starts to be produced by the MJR Company in Hubbard, Oregon.
- 1989 The MJR Company and Sure Grow merge to form Black Gold Inc.
- 1995 Black Gold Inc. buys a production facility in Fillmore, UT to broaden its sales in the Intermountain West.
- 1996 Black Gold merges with Lakeland Peat Moss Ltd., an Alberta peat moss company, which forms Pacific Soil.
- 1998 Pacific Soil is purchased by Sun Gro Horticulture.
- 2001 The first Black Gold products listed by OMRI, a cutting edge move aimed to give customers confidence in their organic purchasing.
- 2003 Black Gold Cocoblend is launched, a unique potting soil made with peat moss and coir, for use in outdoor containers and baskets.
- 2005 Black Gold Soil Conditioner/Garden Amendment is launched in the Pacific Northwest.
- 2007 Sun Gro buys production facilities in California.
- 2007 Black Gold All Purpose becomes Black Gold All Purpose with CRF.
- 2007 Black Gold All Organic becomes Natural & Organic; Cocoblend becomes Waterhold Cocoblend.
- 2008 Black Gold Fertilizer product line is available to consumers.
- 2008 Black Gold begins to be manufactured from Sun Gro’s Sacramento and McFarland, California production facilities.
- 2009 Black Gold Soil Conditioner available from all Western US plants.
- 2010 Black Gold now available in Alberta, British Columbia, Illinois, Oklahoma and Texas.
- 2011 Black Gold now available nationwide in the US.
- 2011 Black Gold begins to be manufactured at Sun Gro’s Elizabeth City, NC; Pine Bluff, AR; Quincy, MI; McCormick, SC; and Orlando, FD production facilities.
Sun Gro, Beyond Eighty Years
In the spring of 2009, Sun Gro Horticulture® celebrated its 80th birthday. Originally organized as Western Peat Company, Ltd. in Vancouver British Columbia, Sun Gro has grown to become North America’s largest producer of Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss. Sun Gro is the largest distributor of peat moss and peat- and bark-based growing media to professional plant growers in the US and Canada, and we are a leader in high-quality consumer potting soils, garden amendments and fertilizers.
Sun Gro’s first venture into consumer gardening products was Sunshine® Peat Moss. Then in the 1980s, Sunshine® Potting Soils were added to the product line. In 1998, after Sun Gro purchased Pacific Soil, Black Gold® and Nature’s® potting soil, garden amendment and peat moss product lines were added to the Sun Gro family of home gardening products. In 2006 the Sunshine® Pro product line, which emphasizes garden amendments, was added.
While this genealogy of products might be interesting to some, we believe the most important question is “Why should I purchase my gardening products from an eighty (plus) year old company?”
Here are some points to consider regarding this question:
Sun Gro is a Horticultural Company
Sun Gro has always been a horticultural company. We produce products for both professional and consumer horticultural markets, developing and supplying products that are sound for all growers, large or small. Fancy bags and televisions ads are not what make gardeners request Black Gold®, Sunshine® or Sun Gro’s other consumer brands. It is the fact that we produce a quality product that brings garden success.
Quality is a Way of Life at Sun Gro
When a company produces products for the professional horticultural market, it is potentially liable for replacement of the product if the commercial greenhouse or nursery operator does not have success with it. We have found the best way to reduce our liability is to produce quality products that we can stand behind. For many years, Sun Gro has maintained an industry-leading quality control system for the production of both professional and consumer products. Attention to detail in our production process is one of the key things that sets Sun Gro apart from competitors.
Our Secret Ingredient
Good people are Sun Gro’s secret ingredient. We have dedicated teams of specialists that develop, produce and sell our products. Top notch teams of research horticulturists develop product formulations and support the quality process; our exemplary production teams make sure all the raw materials meet quality standards and are mixed to create an unparalleled final product; and finally, our smart and personable sales representatives make sure our products reach garden centers nationwide. We also have to credit those garden centers that carry our products. Their knowledge and support ensures our success.
Sun Gro Stands behind Its Products
Our satisfaction pledge is another reason to grow with Sun Gro. The pledge states: “If for any reason you, a personal family or household consumer, are not satisfied with the results of using this product, simply send us proof of purchase to the address listed on this bag within six months of purchase and we will promptly refund your purchase price.”
We embrace the wisdom that the customer is always right. And as a horticulture company, we’ve made it a founding principal that we should always strive for continuous improvement in all that we do. Finally, we know that when our products perform well, they spread the joy of gardening. After all, when gardeners experience gardening success, so do we.
Thank you for your business over the years and for continuing to allow Sun Gro to be a part of your gardening projects.
Sun Gro has a Distinguished History
Key Dates in the History of Sun Gro Horticulture
- 1929 Founded in Vancouver as Western Peat Company Ltd.
- 1947 Opens production facilities in Manitoba, Canada.
- 1964 Opens production facilities in Maisonnette, New Brunswick.
- 1984 Acquired operations of Langley Peat North Ltd. of Seba Beach, Alberta.
- 1987 Opened two new satellite mix plants, one in Quincy, Michigan and the second in Terrell, Texas.
- 1997 Sun Gro receives Wilfred J. Jung Distinguished Service Award from Garden Writers Association
- 1998 Acquired Lakeland Peat Moss, Ltd. in Alberta, and Pacific Soils Inc. in Hubbard, Oregon and Fillmore, Utah.
- 1999 Acquired Pro Gro Products, Inc. in North and South Carolina.
- 1999 Acquired Strong-Lite Products Corp. in Pine Bluff, Arkansas and Seneca, Illinois.
- 2002 Sun Gro Horticulture Income Fund acquires various assets and related businesses from Hines Horticulture, Inc. and commences operations on March 27th.
- 2004 Acquired Lameque Quality Group in New Brunswick.
- 2004 Acquired The Scotts Company’s Professional Growing Media business.
- 2005 Acquired Pigeon Hill Peat in New Brunswick.
- 2006 Acquired Normiska Peat in Fort Frances, Ontario.
- 2007 Acquired Sun-Up Horticulture in Sacramento, Marysville and McFarland, California.
- 2007 Acquired Kellogg-Rich Grow in Santa Maria, California.
- 2007 Acquired Grow Best Holdings which owns Florida Potting Soils, Inc. and Sunshine Peat, Inc. in Orlando, Florida.
- 2010 Sun Gro Horticulture Income Fund completes reorganization of trust structure to a corporation, Sun Gro Horticulture, Inc.
- 2011 Sun Gro Horticulture acquired by a privately held company.
- 2012 Sun Gro Horticulture acquired Conrad Fafard Inc.