In the age of online shopping, physical retailers are suffering and many are dropping like flies. Hoagtech Hydroponics, however, is thriving and enjoying the relationships they have developed with their customers. In the beautiful town of Bellingham, Washington, coined “The City of Subdued Excitement,” some exciting things are happening for Dan Hoag, owner of Hoagtech Hydroponics. His story is reminiscent of the American Dream, starting a business from scratch, and turning it into one of the largest suppliers of indoor growing supplies in the Pacific Northwest.
It all began with a trip to the infamous Arcata, California, where Hoag says, “I fell in love with the community and culture of indoor gardening. All I could think about on the way home was starting a hydroponics store.”
In July 2010, at the age of 23, Hoag found a Craigslist ad for an office at a measly $150 a month. “My full inventory was three ballasts, one reflector, and two bags of dirt, but it was my entire starting inventory.”
Things looked bleak after a full month without a single customer, but one day a customer came in and bought the entire inventory. Hoag said, “I could then afford to convince another store to sell to me at cost plus 10%. After a few months, I was able to afford a larger store in the same complex.”
Currently, Hoagtech is looking to expand again, in a major way. The business is moving from a moderate retail space, to a 14,000 sq. ft. warehouse. When asked what separates Hoagtech from other local indoor growing distributors, COO Anthony Bailey replied, “Adaptation to the industry. We have competitive pricing and keep a solid mix of contemporary items, as well as the tried and true classics. The industry is going direct to the consumer and, to maintain and grow our customer base, we offer several wholesale offerings. We are able to give customers the same price, with lower or no shipping costs on many items. The customers have become close to us, which is a huge motivating factor to show up every day. To hear their success stories and help them overcome their challenges with the latest and greatest hydroponic and grow supplies is very rewarding.”
What does the future look like for Hoagtech Hydroponics? Hoag says he wants to be known as the face of hydroponics distribution. Having started in a 250 sq. ft office in July of 2010, and expanding to a 14,000 sq. ft warehouse, Hoagtech has flourished into supplying grow equipment for much of the Pacific Northwest, of state to Missouri, California, and Hawaii, and internationally to Canada.
Hoagtech Hydroponics is the rags-to-riches success story of the hydroponics supply and distribution industry, starting locally, and now expanding globally.